Page 28 - Fall2016
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I remain close to God’s poor.” For me this is a combi-                   work, being outside working hard, close
nation of academic, pastoral and social justice work                     to God’s beautiful creation, cultivating
that, in my own way, attempts to live out the magis,                     good healthy vegetables, ultimately des-
seeking and finding God in all dimensions of my                          tined for those who hunger. It is a hunger
work. I seek to bring academic rigor to the pasto-                       not only for food but health and com-
ral-social justice work, while the pastoral-social jus-                  munity. This brings me a deep gladness.
tice work brings real life experiences to the academic                   The real joy is being at our Mobile Farm-
work; it is never in the abstract. It wishes to address                  er’s Market seeing the life and excite-
in its own albeit limited way what Pope Francis calls                    ment on people’s faces at the abundance
integral ecology.                                                        of God’s good earth, knowing that we
                                                                         worked hard to bring that all to life.
    I work with our Appalachian Institute (AI), coordi-
nating programs that deal with sustainability issues                         I want to briefly mention two special
on campus and beyond. A major aspect of that work                        programs, that in my opinion, embody
deals with food issues, which involves me with Grow                      the best of GOV and give expression to
Ohio Valley (GOV), a non-profit founded by WJU                           the magis. On Wednesday evenings at
alum Dan Swan. GOV grows good healthy food and                           West Virginia Northern Community Col-
seeks to make it accessible to all, especially those in                  lege, a number of single mothers gather
the Ohio Valley who are food insecure, that is, those    for Dinner in a SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional As-
who lack of access to healthy affordable food. At GOV    sistance Program) SNAP is a crucial federal program
I am basically one of the ‘farm hands,’ tending to the   that helps low income persons purchase food. Chef/
fields and gardens. I absolutely love this aspect of my  Instructor Gene Evans teaches the group to pre-
                                                         pare simple healthy crock-pot dishes – cut it up and
                                                         throw it in the pot! Not only do these women learn to
                                                         prepare good, healthy meals, countering the culture
                                                         of the ‘convenience store diet’ that contributes to
                                                         many of their health woes, but there is also a sense of
                                                         community among all involved. Many of these wom-
                                                         en have suffered mightily and so, to see them rejoice,
                                                         feel encouraged and empowered brings them, and
                                                         us, a deep gladness. Food has the capacity to do this,
                                                         does it not?
                                                             On Thursdays the GOV Mobile Market travels to
                                                         Wheeling Health Right. Thanks to a grant procured by
                                                         Dr. Sue Greco through a program called “Farmacy,”
                                                         some 30 households receive $25 a week to spend
                                                         at the market. When the patron/eaters arrive they
                                                         report to the ‘doctor’ who greets them, chats a bit
                                                         and then promptly writes them a ‘prescription,’ which

26 Wheeling Jesuit University
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