Another Spirit-filled Weekend with Partners in Health and Wholeness

Johnny -- PHW

Partners in Health and Wholeness co-hosted a youth conference on Saturday, July 12, with Empowering Word Ministries in Wadesboro.  I was honored to be able to participate as a PHW intern. Empowering Word Ministries Church held a spirit filled-praise and worship service with groups from the community and surrounding counties on Friday night, which I attended. In addition to the worship service, Empowering Word Ministries Church and Partners in Health and Wholeness were able to partner in a healthy lifestyle ministry the next day.  Participants were able to share in the…

In the Media: The Moral Urgency of Farmworkers

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A few weeks ago, Human Rights Watch published a report on child labor in tobacco farming. Below, former NCCC intern John Zambenini comments on the large amount of media attention that this report has generated and how you can help children in the fields. This post was originally published on the Farmworker Advocacy Network blog. The Moral Urgency of Farmworkers in the Media By John Zambenini Spring and summer herald the annual return of migrant workers to farms around the country, especially in North Carolina. So often, workers’ return to…

‘Tis the Season for Local Food

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Wait, isn’t that a line from a Christmas song?  Well, yes.  But, when it comes to living a healthy life, what time of year could be better than right now? Temperatures are warming up and farmers markets are opening, making it more desirable to get outside to exercise and more convenient to purchase healthy local foods. It is also the perfect time to tune into what is going on in our communities and connect with farmers who grow food nearby. Farmers are constantly affected…

Farmworkers — God’s Family Supplying Our Food

Farmworkers in NC

We have all heard about farmworkers who supply us with cheap food but cannot afford food for their own families. This is a contradiction to God’s world of abundance with enough for everyone and contradictory to Biblical teachings to pay just wages. In addition to low wages, we often hear that farmworkers are in one of the most dangerous industries in our country. The EPA estimates that 300,000 farmworkers suffer from pesticide poisoning each year. When we realize that many of our farmworkers are children, this is especially tragic. Recently, I was privileged…

Welcome Jennie Wilburn

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I am delighted to announce that our Governing Board has elected Jennie Wilburn to the position of Program Associate for Immigrant and Farmworker Rights. Jennie is a 2009 cum laude graduate of Rice University with a major in Hispanic studies and sociology. At Rice, she was a recipient of the Barbara Jordan Scholarship, awarded for work that builds bridges between cultural, racial, and ethnic groups. She will be graduating in May with a Master of Divinity from Duke and a Master of Social Work from UNC-Chapel Hill. During this dual-degree…

Gardening With a Purpose

Butternut on the vine

Recently, I received a notice from a local community garden organizer about a grant opportunity sponsored by a fertilizer company. I shared it with my e-mail group and found one response, in particular, intriguing. Within this email, a local community leader expressed the importance of gardens, eating healthy, and making healthy local food accessible to the community, while being environmentally responsible. She continued to express the importance of our actions lining up with our values. She concluded that corporate sponsorship of funding for community gardens brought up questions of justice…

PHW Book Club Discussion: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Chapter Eleven

Green Apple on Books

Thank you for joining the Partners in Health and Wholeness Book Club. You can officially sign-up here. Through it, we hope to engage people of faith in discussions over why our health matters. Our current choice of reading is “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life” by Barbara Kingsolver. We are posting updates through the PHW Facebook page, but our PHW blog page has the discussion posts in full with responses from staff. Just look for the apple on top of the book picture among the blog post pictures and you will find…

PHW Book Club Discussion: Animal,Vegetable, Miracle, Chapter Nine

Green Apple on Books

Thank you for joining the Partners in Health and Wholeness Book Club. You can officially sign-up here. Through it, we hope to engage people of faith in discussions over why our health matters. Our current choice of reading is “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life” by Barbara Kingsolver. We are posting updates through the PHW Facebook page, but our PHW blog page has the discussion posts in full with responses from staff. Just look for the apple on top of the book picture among the blog post pictures and you will find past…

PHW Bookclub Discussion: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Chapter Six

Green Apple on Books

Thank you for joining the Partners in Health and Wholeness Book Club. You can officially sign-up here. Through it, we hope to engage people of faith in discussions over why our health matters. Our current choice of reading is “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life,” by Barbara Kingsolver. We are posting updates through the PHW Facebook page, but our PHW blog page has the discussion posts in full with responses from staff. Just look for the apple on top of the book picture among the blog post pictures and you will find…

Capital’s End-of-Summer Fallout

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Call it the year of North Carolina’s Big Right Turn. A conservative General Assembly, with a conservative governor in tow, veered away from the moderate consensus that had set the tone of Tar Heel politics for decades. Taxes were cut for high-end earners. Public schools were put through a budget wringer. Anti-pollution rules were weakened, and voting was made less convenient – a change expected to help conservative candidates. Pushback came in the weekly Moral Monday protests organized by the NAACP and supported by many individuals and groups, including the…

Fracking on Your Property Without Your Permission?

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The controversial issue of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, or fracking, has many angles here in North Carolina. One of the most important and least talked about components deeply affects private property rights, and it’s called “forced / compulsory pooling.” Compulsory pooling is used by oil and gas companies to force unleased or non-consenting landowners into oil and gas leases. It is used when oil and gas operators are unable, through voluntary agreement, to meet the acreage requirements for forming a drilling unit. Compulsory pooling can result in the loss of your…

Act Now – New Food Safety Regulations Will Harm Small Farmers

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Ever heard of the Food Safety & Modernization Act? It’s a 2011law that’s meant to help make our food safer and prevent contamination. While we all want safer food, the law contains many provisions that cater to huge agribusinesses while doing serious economic harm to small-scale family farmers. Check out these updates and then find out how to take action below: The landscape of North Carolina’s farming industry could change if new food-safety regulations take effect. The changes come as a result of the Food Safety Modernization Act that the…

Fred Bahnson: On Food & Faith in the Washington Post

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American spirituality is discovering itself anew as people of faith reconnect with the land. As I’ve traveled the country I’ve met fellow Christians who are falling in love with their faith all over again, and in every instance this love affair is tied to a place. Not a lofty cathedral directing the worshipper’s thoughts heavenward; these places draw the eyes—and the hands—down to earth, back to the soil from which Genesis tells us we were formed, and which we’re called to “tend and keep.” Our first and most basic human task, I’ve come to learn, is to care for the garden.

So begins Fred Bahnson’s recent op-ed article in the Washington Post. If you don’t know Fred already, you should. He’s a gifted speaker and writer, a thinker and theologian, but most importantly, he’s a gardener. After working for years with Anathoth Community Garden in Cedar Grove, NC, he now directs the new Food, Faith, and Religious Leadership Initiative at Wake Forest University School of Divinity.

Laurinburg Presbyterian Lets People Grow Food on its Property

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The Fayetteville Observer

Sam Thompson was looking for a sunny spot to plant tomatoes. He ended up leading an award-winning community revolution. Thompson, an elder at Laurinburg Presbyterian Church, pitched the idea of a community garden to the church six years ago. What began as a creative use for otherwise empty church property was recently awarded an equipment grant by the North Carolina Council of Churches and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. “We’re using the grant funds to dig a well,” Thompson said. “Wouldn’t you know this would be the wettest June in years.”

Piney Grove Baptist Ministries Helped with Healthy Eating Equipment Grant

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Mt. Airy News

Piney Grove Baptist Church’s food ministries recently got a boost from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation (BCBSNC) in the form of a $5,000 healthy eating equipment grant. The effort is a partnership between BCBSNC and the North Carolina Council of Churches to provide equipment for 20 faith-based organizations to bring healthier food to their members and communities. More than $90,000 in equipment grants are being used to provide canning and cooking supplies, expand church community gardens and increase storage for fresh produce.