I recently had a Congressional Meeting with the office of Representative Joe Baca who represents the 43rd district of California. Jenny Serabia, his environmental staffer, seemed very interested in the Greening Food Deserts Act.
This bill aims to promote community gardens as a means to address food insecurity across the United States. These gardens will help by becoming catalysts for neighborhood and community development and creating income opportunities and economic development.
Genesis 6:21 states, “And as for you, take for yourself some of all food which is edible, and gather it to yourself; and it shall be for food for you and for them.”
Some of the work that Columbans are involved with is feeding those who suffer from hunger. In El Paso, Columban Fathers Al and Bill are working to educate locals about community garden programs. They are offering assistance in establishing them to help those who live in “food deserts”, meaning those who have no access to fresh food sources.
Fortunately, one of the priorities of Representative Baca is promoting nutrition. Serabia informed us that Baca, being a “blue dog” Democrat, has to know where the funding for the bill comes from before making any commitments. Nonetheless, his office seemed interested in supporting the bill.
I am pleased to see that we share the same sentiments with some of our representatives. I hope that in the near future, this bill is passed to become a law. There are many people who are desperate for any kind of assistance they can be offered, and as Catholics we have a moral imperative to look out for them.
Bernice Ramos spent part of her 2010 summer as an intern in the Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach.