Central Convocation Congregations Join Efforts to Enhance Food Ministries

On July 14, representatives from ten congregations in the Central Convocation as well as two Canterbury missions gathered for a Zoom Food Summit to share about their food-related ministries. Representatives from the Brazos Valley Food Bank, the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty, and Grace Episcopal, Alvin, were also present. Ministries highlighted were wide ranging: blessing boxes, meals on wheels, ecumenical food pantries, sending school children home with backpacks of food, and countywide food coalitions.

The Summit allowed each congregation to share about their ministry as well as any concerns or questions approaching the new normal of the fall program year. One common concern was a dip in the number of people coming to receive food in summer months. Representatives identified a transportation issue across the area that hindered people accessing food. Suggestions for how to address this transportation issue focused on bringing food to people through mobile food pantries or home deliveries. There was also a desire to talk to participants who receive food about what barriers they see to food security. 

An important component of many of these ministries is the opportunity to provide hospitality and a listening ear to those who are served. The pandemic hindered the ability to offer this hospitality, as food distributions became drive thru. In several cases, congregations are seeking to pivot in how they do food ministry or what kinds of ministry they offer to better respond to the stated desires of those served.

To complete the Food Summit, Willie Bennett, from the congregational engagement team at the Episcopal Health Foundation, invited congregations who desire to build deeper relationships with those they serve through food ministries to participate in a Poverty Transformation Cohort. Through this cohort, congregations will have the opportunity to work with top consultants on food security, poverty, and congregational development. Central Convocation congregations will have the opportunity to build on the collaboration and shared learning of the Food Summit through participation in the cohort, as they continue to deepen relationships with one another, with area partners, and with those who they serve.      

Translate »