Here is my testimony for the first resolution I testified on a few days ago:
“Before I came to Los Angeles to work with Seeds of Hope, the food justice ministry of the diocese of Los Angeles, I had never thought about my food privilege. And then I came to Los Angeles as an Episcopal Urban Intern with the Episcopal Service Corps. I made $300 a month. Barely enough to live. Definitely enough to qualify for food stamps. And then I noticed that the foods I had always bought before, which I had taken for granted, were way too expensive for me to keep buying on the salary I was being paid. And every time I came home, I was exhausted from a long day’s work and grabbed prepared food just because it was easier and faster. I no longer make $300 a month, but that one year heightened my awareness of the experience of the people who live this way year after year.
This is the experience of the people sitting in our congregations, the people living in our neighborhoods, the people we are called to serve. The Eucharist is a form of saying, “Thank you, I love you, let’s eat.” Yet four and half million people in the six county diocese of Los Angeles don’t know where their next meal is coming from. And that’s why we at Seeds of Hope, and the Diocese of Los Angeles, were very excited to find a resolution surrounding food justice. We encourage the Church to prioritize direct action within our dioceses, deaneries, and local parishes. Then we can more effectively participate in advocacy that results in meaningful social change throughout our country.”
I really enjoyed that the Archdeacon of the Diocese of Los Angeles, Joanne Leslie, also testified on this resolution on behalf of the Association for Episcopal Deacons. She was able to include some things about the work being done in our diocese, including the diocesan food policy that was passed two Diocesan Conventions ago. After the testimonies, someone from the committee even asked Joanne for a copy of this policy, which she was brilliant enough to print copies of (which I had forgotten to do). If anyone else wants to see a copy of the Los Angeles Food Policy, please let me know!