Acton Notes - President's Message

As I write, America is still debating the pros and cons of the government shut-down. For nearly three weeks, politicians in our nation's capital did little else but decry each other's faults and cast blame regarding our national debt crisis. Voters are angry that the men and women they elected aren't doing their jobs.

The names of those elected - Rand Paul, Barack Obama, John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi - have become familiar to us. But do you know the name Robin Emmons? She's a woman living in Charlotte, N.C. A few years ago, Ms. Emmons (while caring for her mentally-ill and homeless brother) became aware of a problem among the poor in her area: They had almost no access to fresh produce.

Most of us know the pleasure of eating fresh corn in the summer, or peeling a ripe orange in the winter, and most of us can easily buy produce. Ms. Emmons saw that many people around her could not.

So, Ms. Emmons tilled the soil in her backyard and planted seeds. It was the beginning of Sow Much Good, an organization that now has two-micro farms that sell produce, eggs and honey at reduced prices for low-income people in the Charlotte area. They also teach gardening and canning skills to others, so they can grow and preserve their own food. Sow Much Good is dedicated to being good stewards of the land and serving an underserved population.

"A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. Whoever has ears ought to hear." – Mt. 13:3-9

What impresses me about people like Ms. Emmons is that she recognized a problem and set out to solve it. She has not solved world hunger, erased the national debt or cured a disease. She is, however, "rich soil" for the plot of land she was given. Can we, including our elected officials, each say the same? Thank you for your continued support of the Acton Institute.

Rev. Robert Sirico, President