Our local Bread for the World chapter planted trees for World Food Day several years ago. We thought it would be a good idea to plant fruit trees in neighborhoods for people to eat fresh fruit.
We chose pear trees because they are hardy and native to New Orleans.
We selected two sites: a child care facility in the Lakefront area, and an Uptown church with an active food bank. Hurricane Katrina destroyed the trees on the Lakefront, but the Uptown trees are producing fruit and neighbors enjoy eating the pears. The neighbors, in fact, are the ones who take care of the trees.
Trees have long been a part of our efforts to address the root causes of hunger. Several years before planting the two pear trees locally, the Bread for the World New Orleans chapter sent a donation to purchase trees in Haiti as a way to stop or slow down soil erosion for small farmers in Haiti. Trees for Haiti was also a project we sponsored in observance of World Food Day.
Blessings and gratitude at this time of Thanksgiving.
(The author is director of Bread for the World New Orleans)