UUSC Responds to Escalating Crisis in Haiti

Challenging Injustice, Advancing Human Rights

The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee advances human rights through grassroots collaborations.

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Growing Your Own Food is a Powerful Act

March 6, 2014

Growing your own food — and having the resources and opportunity to do so — is powerful. That’s why, this spring, we’re asking you to grow a food garden of your own and sponsor one for a family in Haiti!

You can grow a garden as an individual, or as part of a family, youth group, small group ministry, congregation, or community group. You can do it whether you live in a city, suburb, or rural area. These gardens are small and built in containers, and they produce delicious food! UUSC provides how-to resources to take you through each step in the gardening process.

If 100 individuals and groups grow gardens, and you each raise $250 or more for one family in Haiti to receive training and materials for their gardens, you can help 100 Haitian families grow their own food and achieve food sovereignty and sustainability!

Once Haitian families don’t have to buy all their food, they are better able to cover other basic expenses, like school fees for their children. Food sustainability can be at the heart of thriving families and communities in Haiti.

Chavannes Jean-Baptiste, a seminarian from a peasant family in Haiti, set out more than 40 years ago with the belief that peasant families could live sustainably and control their own futures. Informed by liberation theology and popular education, he studied agronomy and launched an organization called the Papaye Peasant Movement (MPP). Now, MPP has grown to reach tens of thousands of peasants of rural Haiti, providing opportunities for people to shape their own lives. And sustainable food gardens have been an important part of their success.

Urban families in Haiti, learning of the success of these food gardens, are also eager to grow their own food — and that’s where you come in! UUSC knows firsthand that when families are able to grow food, their whole lives can change. That’s why we’ve set the goal of helping 100 urban families in Haiti start their own food gardens — with your support. Make our goal of 100 food gardens for 100 families a reality.

I hope you will join UUSC and me in this important movement!

Rev. Katherine Jesch is a Unitarian Universalist community minister. She helped launch the Green Sanctuary program and was director of environmental ministry for the UU Ministry for Earth until 2009. She currently serves on the steering committee for the Interfaith Network for Earth Concerns in the Portland, Ore., area and on the leadership team for the Community for Earth at First Unitarian Church in Portland.

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