Netiya is a food justice and interfaith network that fosters self-reliance and land stewardship to lead Angelenos of all faiths toward greater access to food worthy of a blessing.
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2 Submitted Ideas
- CONNECT ·2015 Grants Challenge
The Fermenting Change Event Series will bring together people from diverse communities over our shared values of nourishing food and land stewardship. Our program will engage Jewish and Muslim school communities and grow to become a replicable model for interfaith celebration across the region. By building connections around food, justice, and traditional ties to the earth, we build relationships across religious and cultural barriers to create an interconnected and resilient Los Angeles.
- 2013 Grants Challenge
Project 10 is a cooperative effort among two faith-based networks in Los Angeles designed to leverage our shared values of justice, charity, and community and tap the potential of faith-based institutions in the urban sustainability movement. Through Project 10, we envision that faith-based institutions convert 10% of their unused land into urban orchards, producing large amounts of healthy, sustainably grown food and and creating community hubs for engagement and education around local food issues. Project 10 will work with these institutions to develop urban orchards on their properties and cultivate an interfaith network that capitalizes on the values, resources, and infrastructure of the faith community.
In L.A.’s growing urban sustainability movement that includes nonprofit, governmental, and private partners and focuses on a diverse set of issues, we believe that faith-based institutions are a vital but untapped ally. Among the large geographic, economic, social, and racial differences in this region, faith-based institutions serve as anchors in every community. According to the American Community Survey in 2007, there were more than 6,000 faith-based congregations in Los Angeles County, representing a membership of 2.3 million people (about a quarter of the population).(1)
The collaboration of Netiya and Seeds of Hope through Project 10 draws on this untapped power of faith-based institutions to focus on urban greening and local food systems through developing urban orchards on our landholdings. As faith-based networks, Netiya and Seeds of Hope currently engage and mobilize our constituencies around food justice. As a combined network of close to 250 institutions, we are able to access land, money, and volunteers from institutions that have established organizational structures in place. Project 10 will offer institutions with deeply rooted and, in many cases, shared ethics, an opportunity to become powerfully aligned with one another and with partners across other sectors to move elements of entrenched food systems into new configurations.
Project 10 is based on a very simple idea rooted in most major religions: tithing harvests. Tithing is the act of donating 10% of one’s resources to address the needs of the underserved within and around our communities. Currently, 10% of Angelenos are food insecure. Consider what it will look like when 10% of LA’s religious institutions convert 10% of their unused institutional land into productive orchards and donate at least 90% of the crop to help feed insecure Angelenos. By 2050, Project 10 will have provided over 23 million servings of fresh fruits and nuts to our neighbors in need, as part of a larger movement to address food insecurity in the region. By 2050, this project will have contributed approximately 50 acres of new open space to our communities that will have removed more than 4,500 tons of CO2 from our atmosphere, conserved 2.3 billion gallons of water through reduced irrigation, and prevented 185 million gallons of storm water from running off into our oceans.
To demonstrate the viability of our 2050 vision, in 2013 Netiya and Seeds of Hope will collaborate in using Goldhirsh grant funds to:
1) Develop three pilot orchard projects at three faith-based institutions representing geographic, religious, socio-economic, and land-use diversity.
2) Initiate large-scale interfaith awareness-building efforts through institutional engagement, including:
2a) Convene a one-day, interfaith food awareness conference targeted toward religious and lay leaders across institutions, building upon the Seeds of Hope conference planned for May 2013. This will target the more than 200 institutions of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles and Netiya’s 32-member network.
2b) Build out an “Interfaith Council” that will meet regularly to collaborate and support ongoing food production efforts, building upon Netiya’s successful model Council.
3) Develop and distribute an “Interfaith Resource Guide” to help institutions plant and maintain orchards on their properties and contribute the produce to community food pantries.
4) Engage congregants in building awareness around local food and hunger issues through education and outreach programs.
(1) Not all congregations have access to land, as many share facilities. For the purposes of this project we estimate that 5,000 institutions exist in Los Angeles County.