Convening Report: Our Collective Next Steps in Food & Faith Work

Authors: 
WFPC: Alex Treyz, Deborah Hill, Sarah Zoubek, Jen Zuckerman
Published: 
July 2019
Type of Publication: 
Report

Convening conversations and the direct feedback of attendees post-convening reveal a strong collective desire for a convening that brings funders and practitioners together for in-person discussion. Such a meeting could better align philanthropic support with the on-the-ground needs of faith practitioners. Attendees also expressed a desire for conversations that further cross-faith peer-learning. And finally, the WFPC is developing a co-authored, publishable State of Food & Faith Practice Report, tentatively entitled “Moving from Charity to Justice: Faith Communities & Food Systems.” The goal of this report is to bridge dialogue across academia, philanthropy and faith practitioners, and to encourage further investments in work that addresses the root causes of hunger in communities, rather than just the acute need.

In partnership with Duke Divinity School and the Rural Church Program Area of The Duke Endowment, the Duke World Food Policy Center (WFPC) hosted a Food & Faith Convening in Durham, North Carolina November 12-13, 2018. A group of expert practitioners, academics, funders, and non-profit professionals guided the WFPC team in convening design and implementation. Forty-six individuals participated in the convening.

The convening discussions identified several themes that drive the work of faith communities: moving from charity to justice, food sovereignty, and equitable food-oriented development; moving from charity to justice for the land & environment; the need for bridging and relationship building between practitioners, funders, and the academy; and the need for bridging between faith communities and policy. Additionally, several academic themes for future research were identified focused on cross-faith comparative analysis and the broad impact of faith community-based food systems work.

Convening conversations and the direct feedback of attendees post-convening reveal a strong collective desire for a convening that brings funders and practitioners together for in-person discussion. Such a meeting could better align philanthropic support with the on-the-ground needs of faith practitioners. Attendees also expressed a desire for conversations that further cross-faith peer-learning. And finally, the WFPC is developing a co-authored, publishable State of Food & Faith Practice Report, tentatively entitled “Moving from Charity to Justice: Faith Communities & Food Systems.” The goal of this report is to bridge dialogue across academia, philanthropy and faith practitioners, and to encourage further investments in work that addresses the root causes of hunger in communities, rather than just the acute need.