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A Washington pastor, Rev. Heber Brown III, wasn’t content with offering “thoughts and prayers” when it came to social justice. Distressed by the medical needs of several members of his church, he planted a garden on the church grounds that now provides enough food to feed his community.

He’s now helping other churches do the same thing.

“It was amazing,” said Brown, who, in addition to starting the garden, partnered with black farmers in the area to bring pop-up markets to the church after Sunday service.

“We saw attendance bump up in our worship, we saw a great energy … and it went so [well] here, that I wondered what would happen if we could spread it through other churches and create a network of churches that do the same thing.”

In 2015, Brown launched The Black Church Food Security Network — a grassroots initiative that empowers black churches to establish a sustainable food system to combat the systemic injustices and disparities that plague black Americans, who, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, are sicker and poorer than non-black Americans.

It would be incredible to see more churches do this — or come up with a similar initiative to feed the hungry beyond their religious communities. Actions like these do more to show the positives of faith than any religious tract or prayer ever could. At least it’s much harder for atheists to criticize religious people as irrational when this is what their faith is inspiring them to do.

(Image via Facebook)

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