The Food in Sacred Places initiative is Partners’ newly minted program centered on issues of health, nutrition, food security, and equitable food systems. Today, Food in Sacred Places is fostering successful partnerships in sacred places across Philadelphia with food justice organizations such as the Food Trust, Urban Tree Connection, and the Philadelphia Orchard Project. Food in Sacred Places implements our successful space-sharing model by partnering churches that have unused space with food and nutrition organizations to address health, nutrition, food security, entrepreneurship, and the creation of equitable food systems throughout the region.
Depending on the assets of their sacred space, congregations could have the opportunity to join forces with other groups on a range of initiatives: growing food on their outdoor green space; implementing community nutrition programming such as cooking or nutrition classes in their kitchens and social halls; and hosting environmental education events, farmers’ markets, incubator kitchens, and community supported agriculture programs on their premises. Food in Sacred Places‘ individualized partnership structure creates a mosaic of interventions that work together to change food systems, but ultimately build upon each congregation’s mission and vision. Through this innovative program, Partners acts as a liaison between health and nutrition organizations and interested congregations, providing both parties with potential partnership options, project development assistance, and project management experience needed to enact these transformative programs.