In the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, we are beginning a new initiative of food security called “The Harvest of Hope.” It is a community-based project that is rooted in the land.
First, land is donated or rented for a year, and local farmers plant and harvest a crop. Agri-businesses support the project by extending favorable prices for, or donate, seed or fertilizer. Individuals, parishes and communities also get involved by providing resources to cover costs in excess of donations.
After a crop is harvested and sold, the proceeds are sent to the Foods Resource Bank and then matched dollar for dollar by the U.S. Agency for International Development. The total amount of funds raised is sent to provide seeds, tools, training, and other resources to affected areas. In 2006, the archdiocese has three growing projects under way, and parishes are invited to participate at any level that is appropriate to their situation. All monies raised will go to support Catholic Relief Services’ projects in Africa. The Catholic Spirit