In honor of World Food Day, the following stories promote food and agriculture sustainability and/or recognize efforts by a faith community or organizations to provide special assistance or adapt operations to meet the increased needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. In between these stories, we have powerful prayers and blessings from faith leaders around the state. These stories and prayers are listed in the order in which they appear on the video. The main presenter is listed in parenthesis. View the video (42 minutes)
Greeting and Introduction to World Food Day Chant, David Poole & Keri Sutter
AFSC Farm to Food Bank (Sayrah Namaste). At the start of the pandemic, AFSC launched the Farm to Food Bank Project in New Mexico to connect small-scale farmers with food banks struggling to meet rising needs during the pandemic. AFSC purchases much-needed food from small organic farms and delivers it directly to pantries in Taos, Albuquerque and Española. Donate to Farm to Food Bank Program.
Shared Table/El Pueblito United Methodist Church in Taos (Rev. Cheri Lyon). Shared Table is a community outreach food assistance program of El Pueblito United Methodist Church. Food distribution occurs on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays from 11 a.m. – 12 noon at El Pueblito United Methodist Church and from 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. at the Talpa Community Center. Donate to Shared Table.
Prayer: Hon. Regis Pecos. The former governor of Cochiti Pueblo begins his prayer/blessing in his native language and then offers an English-language translation.
World Central Kitchen-Santa Fe Community College (Robert Egger) World Central Kitchen, led by world famous chef and humanitarian Chef José Andrés, partnered with Santa Fe Community College to help feed communities in New Mexico experiencing food insecurity during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring and summer. Robert Egger coordinated WCK’s operations in New Mexico. One of the communities that received food and other assistance during the early days of the pandemic was Kewa Pueblo. The initiative was supported by SFCC Foundation. Robert Egger suggested donations to Santa Fe Youth Works.
World Food Day Chant, Keri Sutter and David Poole
Rio Grande Food Project in Albuquerque (Ari Herring) This is the largest food pantry on Albuquerque’s west side. Since 1989, RGFP has worked with community members to prevent and end hunger among children, adults, and seniors throughout the Albuquerque metro area by providing low-income households with needed groceries. The pantry supplements its food donations with produce from its garden located on-site. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the pantry set up operations offsite. RGFP resumed drive-through distributions at its site during the summer. Donate Money, Food, Time to Rio Grande Food Project.
Prayer: Mercury Bitsuie, Diné Community Volunteers A blessing song. My Mother Earth is Beautiful. My Grandparents Taught Me Well.
The Forgotten People (Marsha Monestersky) & Water Resources Action Project (Malcolm Siegel) Thousands of Dine’ (Navajo) and Hopi households haul water from distant wells. Lack of water is even more critical during the COVID-19 pandemic, when tribal communities are being impacted at one of the highest rates in the nation. The Water Resources Action Project (WRAP) and The Forgotten People (a grassroots organization based in the Navajo Nation in Arizona) have created a unique partnership to address this pressing need. The video includes video excerpts from Vanishing Prayer and VICE News – Cursed by Coal, mining the Navajo Nation and photos by Barbara Davidson Donate to Dine'(Navajo)/Hopi Emergency Water Project.
The Baháʼí Community of Gallup (Rosanne Groger-Bathke, Kee Bathke). In response to the COVID-19 concerns within the Gallup area and the Navajo Nation, the Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Gallup formed a task force to support the K’é Social Action Project, a grassroots initiative whose goal is to reach those most in need in the area. Bahá’ís seek to serve mankind through various activities at the local community level. The K’é project (pronounced “keh”, a Diné word, meaning “system of kinship) is compatible with the principles of the Baháʼí Faith, which is the Oneness of Humanity. The Bahá’í assembly in Gallup is part of the worldwide Baha’i Community, which believes in Baháʼu’lláh–translated as The Glory of God. Send Donations to K’é Social Action Outreach Navajo Nation/ Humanitarian Effort-Relief PO Box 1822, Gallup NM 87305
Prayer: Rev. Bre Roberts (Luther House, UNM-CNM)
St. Felix Pantry in Rio Rancho (Rachel Miletkov) For nearly 30 years, the pantry has provided a safety net for people struggling to support their families in times of crisis in Rio Rancho, Sandoval County and other nearby communities in New Mexico, providing food, education, and referral services free of charge. The need for these services has grown in relation to the COVID-19 crisis. St. Felix is the only food pantry in Sandoval County that allows vital weekly access for its guests. Donate Time, Food, Money to St. Felix Pantry.
M.T.O. Shahmagshooudi School of Islamic Sufism-Albuquerque (Maziar Saleh Ziabar) This Albuquerque school, which has been here in the Duke City for 32 years, is part of a global non-profit charitable organization. Because of Sufism’s emphasis on the teacher-student relationship, the heart of moral training in Sufism is education. Equally important is the value of charity, and Sufi teaching also emphasizes material provision for the needy. During the COVID-19 outbreak, the Albuquerque school launched a campaign to support front-line workers and local vulnerable populations. Free Instagram Live Tamarkoz® meditation sessions are offered multiple times a day live with recorded sessions available to help with the mental health response to COVID; Support the School’s Charitable Activities.
Prayer: Rev. Bethany Meier, First Christian Church of Las Cruces
Think Like a Bee (Anita Amstutz): A grassroots organization that, well, quite frankly, tries to think like a bee. What do bees need to stay healthy? What can we do to support their hard work as pollinators? How can we learn from their highly collaborative social structures in the hive? How can we work together with other pollinator protection groups, beekeeper associations, faith communities, neighborhood and civic organizations, and agriculture for healthy pollinator practices, habitat and a sustainable food system for the future? Donate to Think Like a Bee.
Closing Prayer Rabbi Rob Lennick, Jewish Federation of New Mexico A Prayer for Our Children
World Food Day Chant, Keri Sutter and David Poole
Other Donation Opportunities: Surgite: A Sacred Dance Company, Roadrunner Food Bank (Central & Southern New Mexico), The Food Depot (Santa Fe & Northern New Mexico), ECHO Food Bank (Farmington/Four Corners), The Community Pantry (Gallup), Food Bank of Eastern New Mexico (Clovis)