Celebratory Food Fairs Serve an Important Purpose
Nine program families sold a wide array of home-grown produce to guests at a food fair sponsored recently by local partner CIEDEG. Fruits like peaches and passion fruit. Vegetables galore, including celery, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, radishes, avocado, green onions, tomatoes, and chili peppers. Medicinal herbs and fresh-cut flowers. The beauty of the offerings wowed guests, as did the availability of so much variety in their own community.
These fairs are an important and effective a way to recognize and celebrate the hard work of the women involved in the program who grow this food with help and encouragement from CIEDEG. As families become more food secure, the food fairs give them an opportunity to share what they have learned with others, and to sell the results of their labor.
The well-attended events also help build bridges between participating communities and the public sector. Speakers get issues – of food availability and access, clean water, infrastructure and environment – in front of invited local authorities and others who make decisions on the issues. Petrona, a leader in her community, joined a panel discussion that addressed the needs of the people. “Many children aren’t getting the nutrition they need. That’s why vegetable gardens are so important.”
She encouraged her listeners to be wary of relying on processed foods, and to remember the importance of a balanced diet for overall wellness. She described growing lots of different vegetables organically to make sure children had the highest-quality food available to them, and noted that families also earned income by selling what they don’t eat.
Guatemala Nebaj Quetzaltenango
Led by Church World Service and Local Partner CIEDEG