Global Food Initiative announces new name for continuing program, new gardening grants




Global Food Initiative logo banner

Global Food Initiative (GFI) has been announced as the new name for the Global Food Crisis Fund (GFCF). The program of the former GFCF continues under the new name, and with a new logo and a redesigned website.

For the latest Brethren news go to the main Newsline page

In related news, GFI has made a number of grants supporting Church of the Brethren gardening projects in Pennsylvania and New Mexico, and a gardening project in Hebron, Palestine, in collaboration with Manchester University.

Harrisburg, Pa.

GFI has allocated $3,952 to establish a community garden at Harrisburg (Pa.) Church of the Brethren. “The community, located in the inner city, can be described as a ‘food desert,’ with quality food, fresh fruit, and vegetables being virtually non-existent in markets serving the immediate residential area, said the grant request. “Improved community health and better access to fresh vegetables is a definite need. Positive activities to meet these needs will also provide a sense of community building and empowerment.” Funds will be used for building materials for raised garden beds, rain barrel, landscape cloth, top soil, composter, gardening tools, and seeds.

Lybrook Community Ministries, N.M.

Two grants support a new prayer/herb garden and training for an intern at Lybrook Community Ministries, a Church of the Brethren ministry located in the Navajo area of New Mexico and supported by Western Plains District.

An allocation of $1,500 supports creation of a prayer/herb garden. Plans for the project are to grow a few vegetables and a variety of herbs. Community members will be involved in upkeep of the garden, harvesting and cooking of produce, sharing of produce with others in the community, and education about how to use the produce. The grant will purchase materials to install a herb garden including fencing, posts, soil, compost, concrete mix, water, rocks, and plants.

A grant of $1,800 offers funding for an intern to spend two months with the Capstone 118 community garden project in New Orleans, La., to learn more about community gardening and food ministries. One person involved with Lybrook Community Ministries who has expressed interest in growing produce and helping their community will spend two months at another community garden project, and then return to the mission and assist in educating garden participants on better and more efficient ways of growing. The goal is to involve community members in assisting each other to meet the need for fresh produce. Funds will be used for the intern’s airfare and room and board. 

These grants follow on a previous $1,000 grant through the Going to the Garden initiative of the Global Food Initiative and the Office of Public Witness, and a $10,000 grant from the former GFCF for materials to build several high tunnels or unheated greenhouses.

Manchester University project in Hebron, Palestine

An allocation of $956 has gone to Manchester University’s Center for Service Opportunities, which is supporting a gardening project in Hebron, Palestine. Manchester is a Brethren-related university based in North Manchester, Ind. The proposal is for a pilot program to provide 30 households/persons with seeds and tools/supplies for a trial of the variety and the utility of growing vegetables in a small space. The project would be undertaken by Lucas Al-Zoughbi, student director of the Center for Service Opportunities, and Psychology Department student assistant, in collaboration with Robert Shank, a Global Mission and Service worker who has taught agriculture at a university in Pyongyang, North Korea. Funds will purchase seeds, pots, fertilizer, potting soil, and gardening tools for growing vegetables in Hebron, Palestine.

For more about the Global Food Initiative go to www.brethren.org/gfi .

Go to www.brethren.org/Newsline to subscribe to the Church of the Brethren Newsline free e-mail news service and receive church news every week.