GFI grants support gardens and gardeners, aquaponics, feeding program

Church of the Brethren Newsline
January 26, 2018

Members of the Church of the Brethren in Spain work in a community garden that receives support from the Global Food Initiative. Photo by Jeff Boshart.

The Global Food Initiative (GFI) of the Church of the Brethren has made several grants in recent months. The grants support a Going to the Garden retreat, an aquaponics system in Haiti, two community gardens in Spain, and a feeding ministry in Mexico.

Going to the Garden retreat

A grant of $4,450 supports a second Going to the Garden retreat for community gardeners from across the denomination. The retreat will be held in New Orleans, La., hosted by GFI partner Capstone 118. The retreat will focus on the role of the church in local advocacy for healthier food systems, hands-on advanced gardening demonstrations, and social entrepreneurship. The first such retreat was held in 2016. About 15 people are expected to attend the retreat this year.


An allocation of $4,892.50 funds the set-up and development of an aquaponics system at the Church of the Brethren guesthouse in Haiti. The system, requested by the community development staff of Eglise des Freres Haitiens (the Church of the Brethren in Haiti) is a prototype and will be replicated, in time, in other parts of Haiti in conjunction with the Haiti Medical Project. This demonstration model is based on working models designed and constructed by David Young in New Orleans, La., and Lybrook, N.M., which also have been funded by the GFI. The project is a three-way cooperation between Eglise des Freres Haitiens, Capstone 118, and the Global Food Initiative. Added technical support is provided by Peter Barlow of Montezuma Church of the Brethren in Virginia, and Harris Trobman, a project specialist in green infrastructure with the University of the District of Columbia.


An allocation of $4,455 is supporting the community garden project of the Gijon and Aviles congregations of Iglesia Evangelica de los Hermanos (the Church of the Brethren in Spain) in Asturias. Another community garden project of the Spanish church, located in the Canary Islands and sponsored by the Lanzarote congregation, is receiving a grant of $3,850. GFI manager Jeff Boshart and GFI volunteer Fausto Carrasco visited these gardens last October.


An allocation of $1,000 supports the purchase of a new stove and refrigerator for a feeding program run by Bittersweet Ministries in Tijuana, Mexico. Leader Gilbert Romero reports that 80 to 100 people a day are served meals through the feeding program at a day care center. Communities served include Cañon of the Carriages, Salvatieras, La Nueva Aurora, and other neighborhoods of Tijuana.

For more information about the Global Food Initiative go to

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