Bringing everyone to the table with Reality Ministries

Reality Ministries has been a recipient of the Durham Farmers’ Market’s
Wednesday Donation Station since the fall of 2013, and the results of the past 
year have been incredible. At that time, Reality Ministries was serving one lunch 
a week, and fresh local vegetables rarely graced the plate. That quickly changed. 
Since the partnership began, daytime participants from Reality Ministries 
regularly serve as volunteers at the Donation Station, where all of the fresh food 
collected is used in the community center lunches. Reality Ministries has 
expanded their food program to offer daily, home cooked lunches. They now 
cook so much that they have started purchasing local produce on top of the 
donations they receive as a result of their expanded efforts, and they will soon be 
building out a new kitchen to handle increased use. 

Reality Ministries is a faith-based community organization that creates 
opportunities for all people with and without developmental disabilities to 
experience belonging and relationship. Their daily programs provide a place for 
participants develop life-long friendships, and create community. Food is an 
important aspect of this. Greg Little, the head of the kitchen staff at Reality 
Ministries puts it this way. “Eating together is central to who we are at the Reality 
Center. This is because we are ordered around a sort of mutuality in our 
fellowship with one another. Some of us live with developmental disabilities and 
some of us do not -- but we all gather around the table for nourishment and 
friendship. “

To celebrate and deepen this relationship, Farmer Foodshare and Reality 
Ministries hosted a Community Meal together inviting farmers, market managers, 
Farmer Foodshare and Reality Ministries staff, participants and volunteers. “This 
past Thursday at our Community Meal, this mutuality was deepened even more”, 
said Greg Little.  “Our table expanded to include the growers of our food and 
those who make that food available to us. Our partnership with Farmer 
Foodshare has offered us the chance to become more aware of the generosity 
and work that makes each of our daily lunches possible. This partnership 
teaches us to be thankful, slowly making room for attentiveness to our food and 
relationships that reveal to us our mutuality with one another. We are so grateful 
for Farmer Foodshare.” 

Farmer Foodshare started the Community Meals as a way to deepen existing 
relationships between farmers, volunteers, and Donation Station recipients. This 
particular meal was a memorable evening full of meaningful introductions and 
enriching conversation. From all of us at Farmer Foodshare, a heart felt thank 
you to Reality Ministries for being an incredible partner.