St. Stephen's Episcopal Church
Saturday, November 01, 2014
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Food ministry

The Food Ministry at St. Stephen’s is inspired by the Eucharist, the central act of worship in the Christian faith. Through the Eucharist, Christians believe that they are fed by God so that they can feed others. The Food Ministry at St. Stephen’s is designed to transform this belief into practice by offering programs that help people lead healthier lives that make them better stewards of God’s creation.
 
Food ministry is transforming communities across the nation. Sara Miles, founder and director of The Food Pantry  at St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco, describes the importance of food ministry to the mission of the church in the video below.
 
 
 
In this same spirit, The Food Ministry at St. Stephen's is changing lives and building community in the Richmond area. Our Food ministry has a number of different facets described below, and shown in a new video.
 
The Farmers Market at St. Stephen’s seeks to connect our choices about the foods we buy and eat to our call to be stewards of God’s creation, as we build community and support local farmers.

Our "Food Rules" class (offered in the Winter Covenant Period each year) builds on the assumption that caring for our bodies is inextricably linked to caring for our souls and our minds, and the goal is to give us tools and information for making healthy, life-giving choices. 
 
Our Sunday evening suppers provide fellowship and delicious, locally-sourced food. These meals are prepared for the whole community--all are welcome and no reservations are required. These suppers depend on kitchen volunteers and monetary donations. However, we ask you to make a donation as you are able--if you cannot, you are still most welcome at these suppers which are held at about 6:30 p.m. after the Celtic service(5:30 p.m.)  and before Compline (8 p.m.) 
 
St. Stephen’s Food Pantry provides nourishing foods to those in the community who cannot afford them. Parishioners bring food items to church each Sunday that are subsequently organized, assembled, and distributed to those in need within the community by a team of volunteers. Learn more about this here, including how to become a volunteer. In addition to shelf-stable foods, our food pantry receives fresh produce and eggs from generous Farmers Market vendors, and from our community garden which is tended by volunteers. Read an article and see a slide show about the students of Iqra Academy visiting and stocking our pantry.

St. Stephen's cooperates with the "Backpack Snacks" program of the Central Virginia Food Bank to deliver non-perishable food items to at-risk children over holidays and weekends when they do not have access to school breakfasts and lunches. Learn more about this here, including how to become a volunteer.

The Fruit Ministry -- the original food ministry at St. Stephen's -- is an outreach project run by volunteers who collect, organize, and distribute fruit to over 200 individuals in the Gilpin Court neighborhood of Richmond. Parishioners bring fruit to church every Sunday in support of this ministry. Learn more about this here, including how to become a volunteer.