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Interfaith Food & Farms Partnership (IFFP)

History of IFFP | Our Projects | Get Involved | Resources & Links

Our Mission
To empower faith communities, farmers and neighborhoods to build rural-urban alliances and create innovative partnerships for just and sustainable food systems that promote community health.

Guiding Principles
Buy Local—When you buy food grown close to home, you cast a vote in favor of local, sustainable agriculture and family farms. 
Food and Faith—Communities of faith can play a vital role in creating a just and sustainable food system by demonstrating a commitment to local farmers and cultivating an understanding of food security issues.
Feeding Ourselves—We envision a future in which local farms feed local families, and direct marketing relationships contribute to a vibrant local economy and a healthy population. 

What We Do
In collaboration with diverse congregations and community groups, we provide models and toolkits for congregation-based community food projects (see IFFP Projects below), tools for promoting wellness (Congregational Wellness Project), workshops and resources.

For More Information
Call (503) 221-1054 or email

History of Interfaith Food & Farms Partnership
EMO's Interfaith Network for Earth Concerns (INEC) began promoting community food security in the faith community in 1994, linking anti-hunger work with economic justice and environmental sustainability. In 1997, we held the landmark "A Place at the Table Conference" at University of Portland, which drew people from throughout the Northwest. INEC's workshops and publications, such as Portland’s Bounty, fed a growing interest in forging connections with local farms and led to the formation of the Interfaith Food & Farms Partnership (IFFP).

In 2005, IFFP began developing and evaluating models for farm-to-congregation alliances in low-income communities. IFFP began as a collaboration with Oregon Food Bank, Heifer International, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry, Oregon Farmers’ Market Association, MercyCorps NW, Oregon State University Small Farms Extension, and many faith communities. Since 2005 IFFP has been the recipient of three grants from the USDA Community Food Projects program to develop faith-based community food system models that benefit and include leadership from low-income communities.

In 2008, we started the Congregational Wellness Project, which engages faith communities in promoting children’s health and combating child obesity, both within their congregations and in the wider community. This project shares the goals of increasing community access to healthy, just and sustainable foods, especially for the most vulnerable among us, and also supports regular physical activity and enjoyment of the outdoors for spiritual sustenance and general well-being.

A significant focus that began in 2012-13 has been a grassroots community food assessment in the Rockwood neighborhood of Gresham, Ore., which has a high poverty level and many challenges in accessing healthy food. It also has many strengths and assets including a rich diversity of cultures, strong grassroots leadership, and congregations with land and kitchens.

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Our Projects & Resources

Rockwood Farmers Market
The Rockwood Farmers Market is a seasonal community-focused market with the goal to create a vibrant space where community members can access fresh produce and come together. Located next to the Plaza del Sol at SE 187th St. between E. Burnside and SE Stark, vendors sell produce, culturally diverse prepared foods and artisan crafts. The Market is closed for the season. Learn more.

Food Waste Reduction Guide
Interfaith Food & Farms Partnership created a Food Waste Reduction Guide as a tool to learn about the issue of food waste and how take steps to reduce food waste at home. There are global campaigns happening right now to combat food waste, and so many have committed to be more intentional about what they buy, how much they buy, and finding ways to save and preserve food to avoid spoilage. Use this guide as your jumping off point to reduce your food waste. Download the Food Waste Reduction Guide.

Creating Opportunity through Micro-Enterprise: Faith Kitchens as Micro-Business Incubators
Interfaith Food & Farms Partnership has released a handbook that outlines how your congregation can start a micro-enterprise program.
Download Micro-Enterprise handbook.

Food Sovereignty for All: Overhauling the Food System with Faith-Based Initiatives
This handbook outlines how to start and maintain community gardens, community kitchens, buying clubs, farm stands and other projects harnessing faith community resources. It offers tips for project success and effective collaboration with low-income populations. Download Food Sovereignty handbook.

Farm-to-Congregation Toolkits
“That’s My Farmer” A Handbook to Starting a Grassroots Farmers’ Market Coupon Program includes practical tips gleaned from years of experience with the “That’s My Farmer” coupon program, guidelines for a successful program and templates for replicating it.
Farm to Congregation, A Handbook on Starting a Congregational Farm Stand documents our experience with five different farm stand models at faith communities. It outlines the typical tasks and responsibilities for the congregation and farmer, provides a recommended timeline and details how to integrate a farm stand into the life of a congregation and its surrounding community.

Food Assessment Reports
From Our Own Soil: A Community Food Assessment of Benton County
View full report or short report.
Everyone Eats! North/Northeast Portland Food Assessment
View full report or Executive Summary.
Food for Rockwood: Highlights from the Rockwood Community Food Assessment. View.

Congregational Wellness Project
The Congregational Wellness Project has developed tools for congregations to prevent obesity and chronic health problems. Because obesity disproportionately impacts lower-income and people of color, the project has placed special emphasis on these communities. This project produced the Congregational Health Index in English and Spanish, a website ( with resources for congregations and families including sample congregational wellness guidelines, wellness policies, and more. The Congregational Health Index is an assessment and planning tool that enables congregations to identify possible changes in their environments and practices and make concrete improvements that support health.

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Get Involved

How Your Congregation Can Get Involved
· Facilitate a dialogue or religious education lesson on food as a faith issue, hunger, supporting local farmers or childhood obesity as a social justice/spiritual issue.
· Develop a food policy for your congregation using resources and templates at
· Buy directly from local farmers, especially new and immigrant farmers.
· Incorporate healthy, local food into your food pantry, social ministry, parish school or preschool, your congregation's activities from social hour to committee meetings and your community events.
· Use land or facilities for community gardens, farm stands, cooking clubs, educational sessions on healthy eating and physical activity, or opportunities to exercise.
· Participate in community advocacy around food security, children's health and obesity prevention.

How Individuals Can Get Involved
· Donate food from your farm, retail business or garden for cooking classes.
· Donate seeds and seedlings for distribution at NEFP or other sites that serve people with low-incomes.
· Help organize an educational or fundraising event.
· Serve as an intern for the summer or for class credit.

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Resources & Links

For Activism
Building a Better Community Food System
Things Congregations Can Do for Community Food Security
Calculate the carbon "foodprint" of your food at Low Carbon Diet Calculator, found at

Where to Find Local Food in Oregon
To find the farmers' market, farm stand, u-pick, or community supported agriculture farm nearest you, check out these websites:
Oregon Farmers Markets
Oregon Farm Stands
Community Supported Agriculture Farms
Ten Rivers Food Web Local Food Directory 
WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program
Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program

Food and Faith Resources
National Catholic Rural Life Center
Presbyterian Hunger Program
Bread for the World 
The Jew and the Carrot: A Blog about Jews, Food & Sustainability
Shalom Center, Sacred Foods Project

In the News
"Portland Community Kitchens," Oregonian, July 15, 2011
"Groups sustain 'food justice' past emergency needs," The Oregonian, Nov. 6, 2012.
"Breathing new life into Rockwood, Part I and Part 2," Presbyterian News Service, March 31 & April 1, 2015
"EMO's Rockwood Farmers Market," MetroEast Community Hotline (video), May 27, 2015

Stories about our farmers and the congregants they feed
Laura Masterson, 47th Avenue Community Supported Agriculture Farm, Portland
Tom Winterrowd, Pitkin Winterrowd Farms, Canby
Yua Lo, Corbett
Andrea Davis, Kings Valley Garden, Kings Valley
Alexander Velikoretskikh, Great River Farm
Heather Burns, Little Frog Farm, Sauvie Island
CSA Inspires Local Food Cookbook, Lincoln Street United Methodist Church, Portland
Linda and Tom Berkemeier, Lincoln Street United Methodist Church, Portland
Becky Perreaulx, St. Andrews, Portland
Lucky Flower Farm
NW Organic Farm, Ridgefield, Wash.

Past Events
GMOs: Theological and Ethical Perspectives Forum - What exactly are genetically modified organisms (GMOs)? Why were they developed? How are GMOs being used? And why are so many people concerned about them? Find out by listening to the Oct. 15, 2014, forum on GMO's at Warner Pacific Conference (download audio of the forum).

Food Ethics Conference with Norman Wirzba - The 2013 Food Ethics Conference asked the question, “How can we renew our moral and religious imaginations to shape ethics and practices for food and agriculture in ways that better support human health, social justice, rich cultures and healthy ecosystems?” Through keynotes, panel discussions and small groups, we explored the human relationship with land and food from the perspectives of theology and diverse disciplines and cultures. Download recordings of Elizabeth Woody and Dr. Norm Wirzba and their dialogue at Warner Pacific in Portland, Ore.: Elizabeth Woody, Dr. Norm Wirzba, Q & A.

Food and Farm Links
Here is a short list of links to local, regional, national and international resources pertaining to community food security and environmental sustainability.
United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Why Hunger?
America's Second Harvest
FoodRoutes Network
Slow Food USA
Oregon Food Bank
Chefs Collaborative 
Ten Rivers Food Web
Community Alliance with Family Farmers
Ecological Farming Association
Farm Aid
The Land Institute
100 Mile Diet
Oregon Sustainable Agriculture Land Trust (SALT)
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
Organic Seed Alliance
Friends of Family Farmers
Multnomah Food Action Plan

Policy Links
Farm and Food Policy Campaign
Community Food Security Coalition, Healthy Food and Communities Initiative
State Food Policy Councils

Public Health Links
African American Health Coalition
Community Health Partnership
Fruits and Veggies, More Matters
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Childhood Obesity
Upstream Public Health

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