Seeds of Hope is a ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles established to promote physical and spiritual wellness among individuals and communities.
- 3,000,000 people, including 1/4 of all the children, living in the six-county Diocese of LA don’t know where their next meal is coming from.
- Another 12,000,000 are overweight or obese.
- Obesity is a symptom of malnutrition. We are undernourished and overfed
- People living in poverty are 50% more likely to be obese.
- The most accessible and affordable food is most often the least nutritious and most calorie-dense.
- People living in poverty or more likely to live in “food deserts” where they lack affordable access to basic nutrition.
- A “food desert” is a community in which >1/3 of the residents live more than a half mile from the nearest place to purchase fresh produce.
Need + Capacity = Responsibility
I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” ... "Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”
Seeds of Hope is faith in action.
It is good, but it is not enough, to be mindful, thoughtful, and prayerful about these things. If we have the personal and/or collective capacity to do something meaningful to help, then we must.
Seeds of Hope is concerned more with action than advocacy.
It is good, but it is not enough, to be aware of the shortcomings of our food system and those responsible. It is most important, however, to ask ourselves what responsibility we have for the circumstances in our own communities and, even more importantly, what capacity we have to make meaningful, immediate impacts in the lives of our neighbors in need. Advocacy can too easily descend into self-righteous finger-pointing that allows us to abdicate our own responsibility to put our capacities into action.
Or how can you say to your neighbor, “Friend, let me take out the speck in your eye”, when you yourself do not see the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye.
Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. ‘Teacher,’ he said, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘What is written in the law? What do you read there?’ He answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.’ And he said to him, ‘You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.’ But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?’ Jesus replied, ‘A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while travelling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, “Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.” Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?’ He said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’
Seeds of Hope finds its call to action in our Baptismal Covenant.
If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill’, and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.