Connecting more with the St. Andrew’s/ Oregon Hill community, SNAP Promotion at Byrd House Market & Food Day

-Teresa Willoughby

I have encountered so much since my last post; where do I begin?!  One of the biggest shockers was Megan-Drew’s accident.  Luckily, she is alright and healing.  I admire her for her strength and spirit.  I also admire the community at St. Andrew’s/ Oregon Hill.  Everyone seemed to be supportive of her through this rough time.  It was strange without her and I’m glad that she’s back and recovering.

I have been trying to connect more with the St. Andrew’s and the Oregon Hill community.  I’ve enjoyed St. Andrew’s Book Study, Sunday School/ Adult Forum, potlucks at the church and at the Steinman’s, spending time with mentors, visiting the Richmond City Jail, beer brewing, helping out at different neighborhood food pantries and more! As part of the Grace-on-the-Hill program, my fellow interns and I will be participating more in St. Andrew’s events as well as planning and executing neighborhood events/activities. I am eager to do so because I really want to be more involved in the community that has been so kind and welcoming to me.  Nonetheless, planning these activities out can be complex and difficult.  Vincent took initiative with reaching out to the Baptist church right by our house.  We have been helping out with their food pantry and we hope to help out more by possibly providing laundry services to those who may need it.  I’ve been thinking about helping out more at William Byrd’s farmlet and/or community garden.  So far, I have been composting and have been thinking about perhaps expanding this to a larger community.  I love the idea of reducing waste by turning some of it into something useful.  Compost can be beneficial for soil and good plants/ food come from good soil.  We’re still brainstorming a lot of activities. Please let us know of any part of the Oregon Hill community that could use our assistance.  We’re happy to help!

In addition to taking statistics and gathering other information, I have recently been involved with promoting the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) at Byrd House Market. I have been trying to explain what SNAP is, how to check if one can qualify, and how to apply.  I was excited to have people come up to our SNAP promotion table with interest.  I hope more people receive help from it.

I have also been involved with some Food Day events.  Food Day is a celebration of sustainable, affordable, and healthy food across the nation.  I have been involved with planning for Food Day events with not only William Byrd Community House, but also Virginia Commonwealth University and various local food justice agencies.  It has been interesting seeing all this planning come to life this week.  VCU has celebrated Food Day multiple times this week including its collaboration with William Byrd Community House and promotion of BHM’s celebration of food day/ Vendor Appreciation Day.  A Food Day Dinner was celebrated on October 24th outside by WBCH’s farmlet.  Other agencies that focus on food justice issues attended.  Food related topics were discussed throughout the event.  Hopefully, every day can be a Food Day.  I thoroughly enjoyed the presentations, discussions and of course the local/ sustainable, healthy, tasty food!  The Food Day dinner was mentioned on the front page of the metro section of Richmond Times-Dispatch!  Check out this link:

Below are some pictures from the event:

1000004925 1000004928Games Incorporating Physical Activity

1000004934 1000004936WBCH’s Table (I brought one of the salads- made with local ingredients purchased from BHM!)

1000004938Sub Rosa’s Breads

1000004941 IMG_8832I could not get enough of this cozy campfire.

 My experience in Richmond continues to be enriching and delightful.  I look forward to Halloween and other events coming up here!

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