Saturday I showed up for the first annual Food Security Project Fair. Community members were gathered to show off their eggs, hens, garden harvests and bunnies. Imagine a good ol’ county fair. Ok… now make it a much smaller event, in Mexico. Good. Now add in the pandemic.
Many thought the project would be impossible. When people showed up for the Fair on Saturday, they saw something remarkable. Inspiring.
“This fair deepens our relationships in the community and builds trust.” Kris tells me. “People feel proud to show off their animals. Some brought lots of animals or veggies to share and sell and others not so much… but everyone felt proud and inspired by seeing the progress of everyone else.”
Kris, a young community leader working with Urban Mosaic is one of the key team members who shepherded the Food Security Project through its first six months. Kris continued: “Community members saw the UM team follow through on their promises. The UM team has been walking with these families throughout the pandemic. We didn’t know these people in the community before, but now they have a lot of trust with us and are more likely to participate in other projects.”
There is a unique dignity that comes with holding up food they harvested and saying: “I grew these veggies” or “I raised these hens myself and now they are laying dozens of eggs per week.” The feelings of pride and celebration echo harvest celebrations throughout history.
But right now, this past Saturday, in a marginalized community on the edge of Mexico City, where many families are struggling to put food on the table, the joy, LIGHT and LIFE giving nature of harvesting local produce was front and center… shining through as neighbors presented their eggs, rabbits and radish harvests.
Seeing the results of Phase 1 of the Food Security Project is exciting and fulfilling. Transforming fragile cities into communities of SHALOM doesn’t always yield such tangible or immediate results. But great momentum is felt right now and we are thrilled to expand local food efforts to include five community food trucks that will be managed by local church leaders, helping provide healthy, affordable lunches to hundreds of kids.
Maybe it’s because I’m a Colorado native and come from a farming family, but nothing says “light” and “life” to me quite like local, accessible, healthy and sustainable food. The joy of growing, harvesting and enjoying the fruit of one’s labor is palpable. Thank you for being a part of bringing LIGHT and LIFE to marginalized communities this Christmas, one food truck and one healthy, affordable meal at a time.
Last, some exciting news! Urban Mosaic has received a $30,000 matching grant so that every gift given between now and December 31 will automatically be doubled in impact! Now is the time to build on the excitement of harvest, sharing LIGHT and LIFE with even more people in the communities where we work. Your gift now offers both Good News and good food to fragile communities. Give the gift of SHALOM this Christmas!