Monday, May 23, 2011

Put Feet to Their Faith With a Project to Provide Food for Those in Need!

What would you do if you didn't have the money to buy enough food for your family? Where would you turn for help? Does your church, and/or churches in your community have a food pantry? Feeding America is the largest food bank in the country. Their "mission is to feed America's hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage our country in the fight to end hunger." My church is a distribution site for their monthly food distribution to our community. I checked Feeding America's website and found the following information on hunger in America - 

  • Through Feeding America's network of food banks, they distribute over 3 billion pounds of food a year.
  • 1 in 6 people rely on the services of the Feeding America network for food.
  • Feeding America is annually providing food to 37 million Americans, including 14 million children. This is an increase of 46 percent over 2006, when they were feeding 25 million Americans, including 9 million children, each year.
  • That means one in eight Americans now rely on Feeding America for food and groceries.
  • Feeding America's nationwide network of food banks is feeding 1 million more Americans each week than we did in 2006.
  • Thirty-six percent of the households they serve have at least one person working.
  • More than one-third of client households report having to choose between food and other basic necessities, such as rent, utilities and medical care.
  • The number of children the Feeding America network serves has increased by 50 percent since 2006.
  • In the United States, more than one out of six children lives in a household with food insecurity, which means they do not always know where they will find their next meal. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 17.2 million children under 18 in the United States live in this condition – unable to consistently access nutritious and adequate amounts of food necessary for a healthy life.
In addition to being a distribution site for Feeding America, my church also has their own food pantry. One man in our church had a burden for the hungry in our church and community and puts his time and energy into organizing and overseeing a food pantry. This provides an additional opportunity for us to help those in our community who are struggling. What do you do? How does your church help those in your community who are struggling to provide food for their families? It is difficult to share the Bread of Life with others when they are hungry for bread for their tummies. We need to find opportunities for us to show our love and concern for others in tangible ways . . . a food pantry is a great way to do this.

Consider involving the children in your church in a project to "Put Feet to Their Faith" and help provide food for the hungry in your community. If your church has a food pantry - or if there is one in your community, challenge the kids to gather boxed and canned food to donate to the pantry. Involve them in service projects where they may raise money or collect food items to give the the food pantry. For example, they could hold a car wash and instead of charging for the wash, ask people to bring boxed and/or canned food for their food drive! Use your imagination, but see what you can do this month to involve your kids in helping children and families in need in your community!

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