INCUBATE, STORIES

Shared Abundance: People of the Table

Monica Banks   |   January 31, 2017

Monica Banks, New Communion: Mobile Market and Pantry, was a 2016 NBA Incubate SENT Seminar Participant.


Winston-Salem is one of several cities in North Carolina to have the highest levels of food insecurity in the country. One in four children experience poverty. 62,590 people are food insecure in Forsyth County alone; of those, 31 percent don’t qualify for SNAP Benefits.

In October 2015, New Communion, a ministry of First Christian Church in Winston-Salem, decided to pursue a grant for a mobile market that would help those in areas of food deserts more easily access quality food. We sought to partner with Wentz United Church of Christ, located in the area we intend to serve. On November 17, 2015, New Communion submitted a letter of intent to the United Way as a preemptive application for the Place Matters Grant Proposal. In mid-December, final grant proposal and letters of support to do this work were submitted and accepted by United Way of Forsyth County for the Place Matters Initiative.

After months of interviews, conference calls, and site visits, New Communion received notification of partnership and grant funding with United Way of Forsyth County in order to create and operate a mobile pantry unit servicing those with limited access to fresh food and pantry items in Forsyth County. In June 2016, the initial distribution of grant funds were received, and a cargo van was purchased from North Point Chrysler Jeep Dodge in Winston-Salem. With local support, the van has been “upfit” with professional graphics and shelving.

New Communion is committed to feeding the community in which we are called to serve. New Communion began limited services on July 1, 2016, and became fully operational by the end of August. We are partnering with local churches, faith communities, farms, individuals, community gardens, and corporate partnerships in order to do this valuable work.

In the first three months of service, distribution and operation, New Communion has provided pantry items, fresh produce, and bread to families experiencing food insecurity in Winston-Salem. We serve 80-100 families each week.

New Communion is committed to the model of Asset-Based Community Development and the mindset of shared abundance in ways that transform individuals and systems of poverty. We function as an interfaith organization and utilize interdisciplinary practices in order to promote healthy food systems through shared abundance and redistribution of resources.

Due to limited funds and initial financial resources, New Communion is seeking partnerships and donations. We are always in need of volunteers with a multitude of skills! To help or for more information, contact Monica Banks at (336) 918-7614, the church office at (336) 722-2714, or email us at newcommunionws@gmail.com. Together, we can feed our neighbors through shared abundance!

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The NBA incubates new ministries, supporting social entrepreneurs of faith who are serving their communities in a variety of innovative ways and empowering these Disciples-led health and social service projects to focus on growth, impact, and sustainability. Learn more at nbacares.org/incubate or by contacting Rev. Ayanna Johnson Watkins, Director of the NBA Incubate Initiative.

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