Historically, faith communities have fed the less fortunate by organizing food pantries, soup kitchens, and other programs to combat hunger. Recently, some have broadened that work to include planting community gardens and hosting organic farm stands. Some have provided access to Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs) for those living in the nation’s “food deserts” — areas with little access to affordable, healthy food.
Now, with the Cool Harvest program, Kansas IPL builds on those successful programs to include an explicit connection for congregations that are also committed to addressing climate change.
“When we think about global warming, we think about transportation, we think about how we heat our houses, but in fact, how we eat has just as big an impact on climate change.” Michael Pollan, from the film Nourish
About one-fifth of climate change pollution comes from the food industry – that’s more than from all transportation combined. The Cool Harvest program will support educating congregational communities about the impact of their food choices and will help facilitate dialogue and action.
The Cool Harvest program consists of a viewing of the film Nourish, which traces our relationship to food from a global perspective to personal action steps, illustrating how food connects to such issues as biodiversity, climate change, public health, and social justice. This is followed by a facilitated discussion, resources for finding sustainable food sources in your area, and an advocacy guide for the 2012 Farm Bill. The entire program is accompanied by a “cool potluck” at the host church.
It is our belief that this new program not only will catch onto the new popular interest in sustainable food, but will draw the connection between people’s food choices and its impact on our environment.