The Boston Food Justice YAV Program

The Boston Food Justice Young Adult Volunteer Program

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Who are we? 

The Boston Food Justice Young Adult Volunteer (BFJYAV) Program is a host site for the national Young Adult Volunteer program run by the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Young adults (ages 19-30) volunteer for a year of service, learning and community living that creates opportunities for them to deepen and develop their faith, reflect on their vocational journeys and learn practical ways to apply their faith to issues of injustice in the communities where they serve.

The Boston site focuses on the themes of food justice, simple living, and environmental sustainability in addition to volunteer service, intentional Christian community, vocational discernment and spiritual development. The BFJYAVs live, work, and learn together in one of the most historic cities in the Unites States, and are a ministry of the Presbytery of Boston.

Each BFJYAV is matched with a Boston-area Presbyterian church and a partnering community organization (food pantry, day shelter, garden, farm etc.) where they serve around the common goal of food justice for all. At home, the BFJYAVs commit to using their limited budget to buy and eat only locally-sourced foods from the Northeast foodshed. In the spring, this takes on an added challenge as the BFJYAVs enroll in SNAP food benefits to learn first-hand the challenges and opportunities created by this federal program.

Why Boston? Why Food Justice?

Boston is home to a vibrant local food movement inside one of the oldest farming communities in the entire country. Additionally, Boston’s educational community offers a rich array of opportunities to participate in the discussion around building a more sustainable food system for all. In spite of this, inequalities in access to affordable and healthy food persist throughout the Boston metro area.In their service year, BFJYAVs enter into communities at the center of these inequalities. Volunteers grapple with how low income communities can better access healthy food, and how the food purchasing decisions of all people, whether rich or poor, can affect the environment and the food system as a whole. Through this process, they discover what the Bible teaches us about food and how that applies to the common table we share with each other and the world.

Our Mission:

As we endeavor to live as people of faith and action in our broken world, the Boston Food Justice Young Adult Volunteer Program as a ministry of the Presbytery of Boston will support and forward the Great Ends of the Church by:

a) Providing compassionate service with communities to participate in action targeting improved access to and quality in food systems in the Boston metro area;

b) Joining in ministry with congregations in a process of engaging them in transformational partnership and new ministry models in bringing the Gospel to the world;

c) Nurturing, mentoring, and launching young adults into lives of service to Christ and the worldwide church through a year of intentional community, vocational discernment, and focused service to congregations and their communities of ministry.

Our Purpose:

The Boston Food Justice Young Adult Volunteer Program gives young adults a year-long experience living together in intentional Christian community and engaging in the mission of Presbytery congregations to secure healthy and sustainable food for all people.  The program cultivates spiritual growth, vocational discernment, leadership development, and social and congregational transformation among the volunteers and the communities with whom they serve.

Our Contact Info:

To contact the BFJYAV Site Coordinator, send an email to bfjyavprogram@gmail.com

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