We all excitedly welcome the Farmers Market back each summer so we can enjoy fresh produce, beautiful flowers, and chance run-ins with friends. But unless you have sat on the committee you might not know about the most important aspect: feeding our neighbors.
Each week we purchase and donate leftover produce from the market to First Nations Kitchen. We also pay farmers from Holy Apostles parish to grow and deliver truckloads of produce to our community partners, like the food shelves at St. Nicholas and Hallie Q. Brown.
First Nations Kitchen in Minneapolis serves a primarily Indigeneous population in the Little Earth community, St. Nicholas in Minneapolis serves a primarily Latinx/Hispanic community, and Hallie Q. Brown is located in the historically Black neighborhood of Rondo in St. Paul. Each of these locations is able to make requests to our farmers about culturally specific foods they would like to have delivered to them as well. This year Hallie Q. Brown requested more collard greens as that is one of the most loved items by their neighbors and our wonderful farmers were able to meet that request!
We are not only feeding people, we are specifically helping meet the needs of groups of people who face greater barriers to obtaining fresh produce either due to cost, living in a food desert, or not having access to culturally appropriate foods.
The youngest members of St. John’s are also learning about feeding our neighbors through their Good News Garden. If you have come to the parking lot in the past month you may have noticed some garden beds and pots. The children and families of St. John’s are participating in the Good News Garden project put on by the national church this summer. Our Good News Garden is showing our smallest members how food is grown and giving them the chance to nurture the garden themselves. We will be donating produce from the Good News Garden to our community partners as well!
So how can you get involved?
- Talk with the young people in your life about food insecurity – not only how we can help but also what causes it.
- Donate to the Farmers Market! On Sundays they accept cash and check in the small jars on the farmers tables but you can also donate on St. John’s website here by choosing the “Farmers’ Market” option in the drop down menu:
- Finally, pray. Ask God to bless the harvests and care for all who are hungry. Thank God for the abundance God has given us and for the hard work of the farmers, our gardeners, and everyone who volunteers with the market!