In response to the recession of 2008, Pax in Terra decided to help build sustainable communities here at home by helping those with no means of support grow their own food. By working with the Blessed Sacrament community, already working in the neighborhoods of Bridgeport, CT where some of the greatest poverty in the US exists, we were able to begin a long-term process of helping those without to grow their own food year round. Not only is this project teaching self-sufficiency, it is breaking the dependence on mass-produced, high fat and caloric content foods in favor of locally grown produce. The project, though small, has already spawned a number of efforts around the community. Pax in Terra intends to replicate this effort in neighborhoods across the country and is already working on developing a project in Toledo, Ohio.
Pax in Terra’s contributions:
Pax in Terra has helped collect monetary and in-kind donations to build a hoop house and six raised beds at the Blessed Sacrament Parish, filled each year with donated and harvested seeds. We have also helped supply volunteer labor for building, tending and harvesting the garden for the past six years. This farm helps support the Blessed Sacrament Food Pantry, which feeds over 300 needy families.
In it’s mission to connect people that value healthy food with people in need of it, Pax in Terra has also begun a weekly food delivery to the Pax in Terra Food Pantry for the spring, summer and fall seasons. Donated crops from local farmers and over-abundant produce from local gardeners in the Fairfield area are driven to the Food Pantry once a week by our generous volunteers.
Starting in 2011, Pax in Terra strengthened the education and mentoring arm of the Bridgeport Food Initiative by instituting a Blessed Sacrament Vacation Bible School planting class, where we teach children how to plant and transfer seedlings. It is our goal to instill a level of confidence and comfort in the students own gardening abilities, as well as any other endeavors our young ones venture into!
These projects are part of an ongoing effort to help the community become more self-reliant by supplying the tools to help people feed themselves.
Year in Photos:
Check out the evolution of our garden over the course of the past two years! From repairing old beds and building new ones to spring, summer and fall planting and harvesting with our volunteers and students, we’ve accomplished a lot!
What more can be done:
Donations of money, volunteer time, food, seeds, and tools are always much needed for the continued functioning of the Blessed Sacrament Farm programs, as well as the establishment of programs in other areas in need. Please see our How To Help page for more on how to give.
Would you like to be a part of the Bridgeport Food Initiative’s food delivery program as either a produce donor or a driver? Let us know! Please email email@example.com with you information and availability.