Black Church Food Security Network
A coalition of Baltimore faith leaders, community activists, and farmers are teaming up to address food insecurity
According to a recent study by the John Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, one in four Baltimore residents, and 30 percent of Baltimore’s school-aged children, live in neighborhoods considered food deserts. A disproportionate amount of those residents living in food deserts are black, accounting for a a third of Baltimore's black population living in a food desert.
The city has initiated several measures to battle this trend, approving a property tax break for urban farms operating on less than five acres and providing free school meals to all public school children in the district.
And now the Black Church Food Security Network has emerged as a coalition of faith leaders, community activists, and farmers to address the issue. The network is a joint effort by the Baltimore Food and Faith Project of the John Hopkins Center for a Livable Future and Black Dirt Farm, led by Reverend Dr. Herber Brown.
Reverend Brown started addressing issues of food security years ago when he realized many members of his congregation suffered from diet-related illnesses like diabetes. He helped transform his church’s yard into a small urban farm, which now produces hundreds of pounds of produce every year.
In the wake of protests following Freddie Gray’s death earlier this year, Reverend Brown realized it was time to expand his efforts and build a larger coalition of faith organizations working to target hunger.
The Reverend emphasizes, however, that the network is about much more than battling hunger:
What does your place of worship do to build food security in your community?