b'Kristi, Instigates editor, has been a magazine writer and editor for more than 20 years, as well as a contributing author for devotionals and curriculum. She and her husband, Jess, are the parents of three children. Email her at krector@citygatenetwork.org.The USDA and White House have recognized what the body of Christ has been able to accomplish when we come together as one. They gave us a great opportunity to create our own lane for the church to be involved in this program. Bethany MillerAfter learning about F2F during a Citygatecommunity organizations in our region. Network Zoom meeting, Ammond found thatThe food boxes have been a vehicle to while distribution hubs were scattered across theempower our community to love their neighbors. United States, none existed in Oregon. I wasFood companies have offered refrigerated even more motivated to develop a hub here intrailers for us to store the food. Weve also our community, he said. It seemed like a won- developed relationships with new volunteers derful program because it was for everyone, notwho wholeheartedly support the vision of this just the poor. For every family that received aprogram. The food boxes have truly strengthened box, a farmer got paid!our network with entities and individuals who The food program provided a win all around are committed to fighting poverty and ending from farmers and ranchers, to food banks andhunger in our community.service providers, to food-insecure families andBecause Kansas is a rural state, Topeka Rescue those who lost income due to the pandemic.Mission places high priority on setting up hubs Marissa says, We love that this program allowsin small towns across the region. Rural America neighbors to help neighbors. We love that thisfaces unique hunger challenges, including program brings fresh fruits, vegetables, and dairypervasive food deserts and lack of access to fresh products to families who wouldnt have accessproduce, Marissa said. Oftentimes, families otherwise. We love that this program keeps foodhave to choose between getting their food at from being wasted in landfills. This program hasconvenience stores and gas stations or driving tremendous potential to change lives, relationships,over 20 miles to the nearest grocery store. This poverty, and even health outcomes! program literally brings fresh fruits and vegeta-bles to the doorstep of rural America.Collaborating with other helpersAt least eight Citygate Network member A long with meeting many needs, Farmersministries have participated in Farmers to Fami-to Families has exploded the possibili- lies, which has caught Washingtons attention. ties of collaboration among local organ- Bethany said, The USDA and White House have izations. The F2F program has given us therecognized what the body of Christ has been able opportunity to meet passionate brothers andto accomplish when we come together as one. sisters in Christ and learn more about ministriesThey gave us a great opportunity to create our that maybe we would have never crossed pathsown lane for the church to be involved in this with, Bethany said. Farmers to Families hasprogram. It wont just be in the hands of the food given us the opportunity to collaborate withbanks and food pantries, but the local church can dozens of churches, ministries, nonprofits, andmeet the needs of their community. \x04SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2020 WWW.CITYGATENETWORK.ORG 45'