This Saturday, at the Coppin Memorial A.M.E. Church, environmental sustainability organization Faith in Place will host its second annual winter organic farmer's market on the south side of Chicago. This all-day event will feature the produce of fresh, organic and natural farmers. One of the vendors will be the Vernon Park Church of God Mother Carr's Organic Farm, a group of solely African American farmers, and a percentage of the proceeds will go to the Farmer's Crisis Fund.
This project is the brainchild of Veronica Kyle, a food justice and environmental sustainability activist, and her collaborator Tony Williamson, the head farmer at Vernon Park Church of God Mother Carr's Organic Farm. As a 2013 Toyota TogetherGreen Fellow, Kyle has been able to focus her work on the Vernon Park Church of God farm, helping the organization to find markets to distribute its produce. Partnering with Faith in Place, Kyle encourages and trains local historically Black churches to host farmers markets in order to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to residents with little access to healthy food.
"My goal as a Toyota TogetherGreen Fellow is to continue to weave a tapestry of food and faith and healthy eating with the community," Kyle told EBONY.com. "Food health crises are really big in cities right now and Chicago is one of the cities leading the country in obesity and diabetes. I believe that [the winter farmer's market] is an opportunity to take a tapestry of issues on food justice and faith and create a model that can be replicated in urban areas across the nation. One thing we have in this country is a lot of churches and what I am hoping we’ll show this weekend is that when the faith community comes together, we can address almost any injustice."