Because of the generosity of the Fund II Foundation, the Black Church Food Security Network team was in New Orleans, Louisiana at the Essence Festival of Culture which took place Friday, June 30 – Sunday, July 2, 2023. This annual event brings upwards of 500,000 attendees – mostly Black women – to New Orleans for networking, learning, shopping and an all around enjoyable experience. Mr. Robert F. Smith’s Fund II Foundation extended an invitation for us to connect with them and present our organization on this massive stage. It proved to be a valuable time. We were able to introduce the work of our organization to elected officials (federal and state), celebrities, farmers, educators, small business owners and residents from across the United States. We also met ministers from New Orleans who now know about BCFSN and are excited about the idea of helping us to get a greater foothold in that part of the country.
We received clear evidence that our messages resonates with African American from all walks of life. It is widely understood that food insecurity and food apartheid are urgent problems in Black America. That goes without debate or much discussion. What many at Essence had not heard of was a solution rooted in asset based community development. They were excited to hear about how we are working with Black churches and Black farmers to co-create sustainable Black food ecosystems that nourish our community while putting those most directly affected by food insecurity in the driver’s seat of the solution. We planted thousands of “seeds” in people’s minds while handing out hundreds of freebies and materials!
We were able to present, network and organize in New Orleans in large measure because of the dedicated support of our donors and Freedom Funders. As the work grows, our base of financial partners must grow too. If this grassroots food justice work and ministry resonates with you, I ask that you consider making a donation today. I ask you to consider signing up to give to us on a regular basis. (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly). There are also high dollar donors and philanthropist who want to put their money to work for food justice. Consider making a donation to our organization. We are literally on the ground, growing food, linking Black farmers to opportunities and helping communities to rethink how to tackle the problem of food insecurity. Click here to make a donation today!