Serve: Plant a Row

Happy Abundant Thursday!

Whenever I wake up on Thursday mornings, the first thing I think of is our food pantry.  And the first thing I do after that is pray for abundance.  In the past two years that I’ve been closely involved with this ministry, I have come to realize what an incredible service this is for our neighbors on Northside where food security and limited access to groceries is a serious concern for those facing economic challenges.  We serve an average of 350 families each and every month with fresh and canned vegetables, fruits, grains, fresh meats, fresh baked breads, and other miscellaneous food items.  Food pantry is about more than food, though.  It is also about community, conversation, the emergence of partnerships with food providers and suppliers with our clients and neighbors.  God’s presence is felt in food pantry in ways that are palpable and poignant.  It has become a place where abundance happens, sometimes in radical ways.

As I’ve been working on this week’s Living into Sacred Space entries, I came across an idea that is as simple as it is transformative.  If each person reading this takes this service idea to heart, our food pantry (and food pantries local to wherever our from-a-distance followers reside) would truly experience a miracle of abundance.

The Garden Writer’s Association began a program called “Plant a Row” which is a way…person by person and garden by garden…to help address hunger and food insecurity.

The basic premise is this:  This spring, plant and commit the harvest of one row of your garden as a donation to your local food bank or distribution site.  Anything that grows in that row becomes your contribution.  You can read more about the details and history of the program at their website:

This is the perfect time of year to buy some seeds, and plant a row.  Plant whatever you like, or even several different things.  If you don’t have a garden in which to plant a row, plant some containers of lettuce, basil, or a cherry tomato plant instead.  Even a patio pot and a $5 starter plant could end up as a weekly supply of fresh produce for several weeks this summer.  Bring bunches of flowers if you have them, too.  The more that we bring nature, fresh food, and the abundance of our lives and gardens into our food pantry, the more of God’s abundance we will all experience.

Serve wherever you are today:  Plant a Row

16266228380_8fc2013e15 veggies pantry

Photo Credit:  Patience Salgado, at St. Thomas’ Food Pantry (January 2015)


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