St. Paul’s Houston Holds Fair Trade Chocolate Challenge

Date Posted: 5/30/2012

Houston St. Paul’s UMC invites the community to partake of a potluck meal and participate in a Fair Trade Chocolate Challenge on Sunday, June 3.


"We look forward to helping you connect at this sacred space in the heart of Houston," said Rev. Jeremy Wester, who is organizing the event. "Bring your potluck dishes any time that morning to the kitchen on the second floor of the Jones Building.  Meal service will begin in Fondren Hall at 12:15 p.m.  Please be sure your name is on the dish for identification after the meal."


To enter into the Fair Trade Chocolate Challenge, bring an additional dish to the potluck created with chocolate labeled "fair trade" or certified by the Rainforest Alliance or Utz sustainability programs.  Bonus points for delicacies special to their city or region of origin. Also bring a copy of the recipe.


“This Fair Trade Chocolate Challenge,” explained Lori Chidgey, St. Paul’s Coordinator for Missions and Outreach, “is a way to help farmers in developing countries build sustainable businesses that positively influence their communities.


“Cocoa farmers are often forced to sell their harvest to middlemen who rig scales or misrepresent prices, and media reports of child slavery show the stark contrast between the delicious treat and the difficult conditions of the people who produce it,” she continued.  “Fair Trade certification on chocolate products ensures that farmers receive a fair price, allows farmers to invest in techniques that bring out the flavors of the region, and strictly prohibits slave and child labor.”


Children are invited to the lunch; childcare will be provided for those too young to join for lunch. To ensure the proper ratio of childcare staff to children, please RSVP for childcare to


If you have any questions about the potluck meal, please contact Rev. Wester via email to or telephone to 713-528-0527.  For questions about Fair Trade in general or the Chocolate Challenge specifically, please contact Chidgey at or 713-528-0527.


At 5501 Main Street, St. Paul’s United Methodist Church is located on the corner of Main and Binz/Bissonnet, across from the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas. The church is within one block of both Museum District MetroRail stops, and free parking is available in two lots across Fannin Street from the church.  Website: .