View this email in your browser

April 14, 2021
Seems frivolous, but a ketchup shortage shows the brokenness of our food system
America is facing a ketchup packet shortage – from CNN Business.
Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  -Philippians 4:6, 7
I hope the headline caught your attention. It seems frivolous, doesn’t it? Ketchup packets, full of sugars; what one previous presidential administrations called a serving of fruits and vegetables for a balanced school lunch program. Why is a shortage of ketchup packets important?

Access to food is an issue of justice. Across the nation, urban neighborhoods and rural communities are finding themselves described as food deserts or food apartheid. The small town where I grew up in Appalachia of Ohio used to have a farm market and a grocery store. Today there are only two convenience stores, whose income depends on gas, alcohol, and tobacco products. The town across the river in West Virginia has one grocery store with a small selection of fresh fruits and vegetables. Dollar General and Family Dollar are the go-to shopping locations, since even a Walmart is 20 miles away. Without access to fresh, local, healthy foods, it is no wonder that Appalachia has some of the nation’s highest rates of diabetes and some cancers. And if this is happening in poor, mostly white communities, we can be assured that access to fresh food is often more difficult in communities of color.

To be clear, this isn’t about ketchup – or even the tomatoes that go into making ketchup. It’s about the first step of equity and access. We know there’s plenty of food to end hunger and hunger-related disease; we don’t know how to distribute it equitably. And that means building healthy relationships with one another while building healthy relationships with the food we grow, purchase, prepare, and eat. As our siblings in the Islamic faith have started their Ramadan fast, may we be open to learning from them how deeply connected are food, community, and a relationship with God.
  • Find out if there’s a community garden near you. Consider starting one – and sharing the produce with your neighbors. This might mean working with people you don’t know, your elected officials, or a variety of community organizations. 
  • If there isn’t a grocery store in your community selling fresh foods, advocate and agitate your local economic development authority. Consider what it might mean to start a farmer’s market once or twice a month in your neighborhood or community.
  • Be mindful of where your food comes from, who harvests or prepares it. For those who are not vegetarian or vegan, consider the source of meat and how it is prepared.
A prayer before meals:

Gracious God,
Bless the food we are about to receive.
Bless the hands that harvested and prepared it.
Bless the earth from which it grew and the water that gave it sustenance.
Bless us as we work for justice alongside those for whom food and water are scarce.
May this meal bring us closer to You and to each other. Amen.
Share Share
Tweet Tweet
Forward Forward
Copyright © 2021 The Resistance Prays, All rights reserved.