Every congregation I have worked with has collected and donated food as a part of their mission and outreach. Feeding the hungry is an essential part of both the history and calling of the church, so we host canned food drives, stock food pantry shelves, and fill backpacks. This is important and meaningful work. But do we always know how this food affects our neighbors? Through their work as registered dietitians with the Partnership for Community Care, Caitlin Romm and Sheri Vettel have time and time again encountered patients dealing with food insecurity and trying to manage one or more chronic illness. At the same time, foods commonly given out at food pantries are high in salt and sugar and are lacking in important disease-fighting nutrients.
So the question becomes, what can congregations and emergency food providers do to ensure our food pantries and donations both feed and adequately nourish people who are experiencing food insecurity?
Partners in Health and Wholeness and the Partnership for Community Care are teaming up again to host a lunch and workshop to have this conversation and learn more about how we can incorporate healthier options in our food pantries. This event will be located in High Point at Fairfield United Methodist Church.
Sheri and Caitlin will discuss their Healthy Food Pantry Program and encourage you to think “outside of the donation box” with ideas for creating your own healthy food packages. We will also talk about the PHW Certification and Mini-Grant program as resources to continue to expand health ministries within congregations. Lunch will be provided and registration is free, but please register before noon on Tuesday, May 24. More information and registration are available here.