Give a man a fish. Teach a man to fish. Stock the pond for all.
This ancient proverb is our guiding principle for all we do at Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. While feeding people in immediate need is critical, it’s not enough. We must teach skills for self-sufficiency and develop sources of fresh, healthy food in every low-income community. We must also advocate for systemic policy changes that support those in need, including protecting SNAP benefits and raising the minimum wage. If we come together— government, civic organizations, businesses, the faith community, nonprofits, and individuals—we CAN grow a healthy, hunger-free community. The stories below illustrate how the community is growing this vision into a reality.
The “Raleigh Food Corridor” runs along Person and Blount streets downtown up to Raleigh City Farm on the north end. Along it, exist endless possibilities for innovation, entrepreneurship, partnership, and community around food.
“The food corridor is connective tissue in our city, designed to link diverse parts of the city around the common economic, social, and ecological benefits of local food projects.
Imagine neighborhoods full of food: green growing spaces, vibrant restaurants and small businesses, and easy, equitable access to healthy food.
Now imagine how neighborhoods like that could help eliminate childhood hunger, build strong social connections, ease poverty, and help us all make positive change in our communities. The Raleigh Food Corridor makes that vision an achievable reality.”
Learn more at www.RaleighFoodCorridor.org
We just love it when learning meets opportunity and –BAM! A career is born! After graduating from our Culinary Job Training Program (CJTP) in Sept 2011, Nathan Vanderberg, is now the proud chef and co-owner of Taste of NOLA food truck. Nathan entered CJTP on the advice of his wife Tracy, who encouraged him to transform his passion for baking (poundcakes are his specialty!) into a viable career.
Through CJTP, Nathan says he learned not only kitchen skills, but ServSafe sanitation and food handling best practices, as well as how to run a business.
“I learned how to do my own thing,” said Nathan.
His “own thing” turned out to be a food truck that he and his business partner, James Obie Bolden, were able to purchase last year, enabling Nathan to transition out of part-time work into a full-time role as chef. Taste of NOLA specializes in jambalaya, gumbo, beans & rice, and—putting that passion for baking to good use— beignets! Find them on Facebook or get a menu and truck schedule at firstname.lastname@example.org. Support your local chef!
The partnership involves multiple components, improving health and nutrition awareness both at the giving and the receiving ends. IFFS has long delivered food to stock Urban Ministries food pantry, which is the second largest in Wake County. Now, the two organizations are working together on a Healthy Pantry Project to improve the nutritional quality of what Urban Ministries’ pantry offers – including more fresh produce and healthier shelf-stable items that are lower in sodium and include more whole grains, for example.
As Health Promotion Coordinator Paulina Tran says,
“We’re not filling bellies anymore, we’re fueling them. We want to make sure people are getting energy and nutrients from their food, not just empty calories.”
Plant a Row for the Hungry began in the Triangle area as a partnership between Inter-Faith Food Shuttle and Logan’s Trading Company. Johnston Correctional Institute has grown over 20,000 lbs of fresh, nutritious produce for us to distribute to our neighbors in need. While serving time, inmates there can serve another purpose: giving back and helping end hunger in our community.
Read/watch more at WRAL.com
Our Incubator Farmers grow a wide variety of produce, everything from hot peppers for hot sauce to hydroponic lettuce, cut flowers to rutabgas. Each of them are learning from each other and from our farmers, attempting to make their desire to grow food into a profitable venture. For some, this is a career shift, for others it’s been a long time goal. Read about all our Incubator Farmers on the blog. Find their produce for sale at the IFFS Farm Stand
This was the healthful and happy picture that recently greeted folks who moved from a line outside Martin Street Baptist Church into the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s first mobile market open to all in need in Raleigh.
More than 115 families walked away with bags and boxes stuffed with some of the 10,000 pounds of goods that IFFS had hauled to the church in two refrigerated trucks.
“I work a part-time job, and I barely make it,” Earlyne Bascombe said as she filled a bag with collards. “This is such a blessing.”
The mobile market is but one of a multitude of programs offered by the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, whose motto is: “We feed. We teach. We grow. Give a man a fish. Teach a man to fish. Stock the pond for all.”
“You can take the whole box if you can get it out of here,” he coaxed the customers.
Most politely refused. “That’s not my favorite,” one said, warily eyeing the cross between a cabbage and turnip that Fox held out to her. “I wouldn’t know what to do with it.”
Showing people how to cook produce in healthy ways actually is a large part of what the food shuttle does. At every market, the nonprofit sends nutritionists who demonstrate techniques and pass out recipe cards.