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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Year of Plenty

Could Spokane Have a “Ministry of Food”?

I am intrigued by Jamie Oliver's work in England and beyond promoting healthy food. One of the itierations of his work is the Ministry of Food Center in Rotherham;

The Ministry of Food Centre in Rotherham was the starting point for Jamie's campaign.

It's somewhere for local people to go to learn the basics of cooking and get friendly advice on recipes, ingredients shopping, nutrition, equipment, local and seasonal food, and how to make good simple meals on a tight budget.

The local team of Health Trainers are also based at the Centre and are there to offer help and information about things like giving up smoking, taking more exercise and dealing with stress.

What caught my attention is his choice of the word "ministry." I couldn't help but notice that the center is right next to All Saints Church. I'm not sure if the center is connected to the church but it seems like just the kind of thing that the church should be involved in. I'm learning more and more as a pastor of what it looks like to minister to the whole person and the whole community.

I was talking to a reported with the Spokesman last week and she said she thought of the church I pastor as the "food church" because of our involvement with the farmers' market and food distributions. We also know how to throw a mean potluck too.

What are other churches doing in Spokane around issues of food? Is this Ministry of Food an idea that could fly in Spokane? What do you think? I know there are food education efforts already ongoing in Spokane. What are they? How are those efforts going? I'd love to get the word out.

Year of Plenty

The Year of Plenty blog was created by Craig Goodwin in the winter of 2008 to chronicle the experiences of his family as they sought to consume everything local, used, homegrown or homemade. That journey was a wonderful introduction to people and movements in the Spokane area who are seeking the welfare of the community through local foods, farmers markets, community gardens, sustainable transportation, and more fulfilling and just patterns of consumption. In 2009 and beyond the blog will continue to report on these relationships and practices, all through the eyes of a family with young children. Craig manages the Millwood Farmers' Market, is a Master Food Preserver and Pastor at Millwood Presbyterian Church. Craig can be reached at