What do backpacks for hungry school children, community gardens, commercial kitchen equipment, tractors, community meals, food banks, truck stop ministries, original VBS music, ELCA World Hunger, and food packing events have in common?  In addition to addressing hunger, these events and initiatives have recently received funding from Lower Susquehanna Synod World Hunger Legacy Grants.

This year the World Hunger Committee received grant proposals totaling more than $118,000. Thanks to our Synod’s Legacy Endowment Fund, the committee was able to award full or partial grants to 16 congregations and organizations totaling almost $39,000, give $20,000 to ELCA World Hunger, provide support to Lutheran Advocacy Ministry in Pennsylvania (LAMPa) to further their hunger advocacy work, help purchase a tractor for the Wittel Farm Growing Project, and commission original music to support the 2018 ELCA World Hunger VBS program.

“Since we’ve started allocating funds throughout our synod, more need is coming to our attention,” said committee chair Cheryl Burns. “But we’re also learning about creative projects taking place in congregations.”

St. Stephen Lutheran Church in New Kingstown received a synod hunger grant this year for their ministry to the homeless on the “Miracle Mile” between New Kingstown and Carlisle. This new ministry not only provides meals but also addresses the root causes of hunger in the area, including lack of affordable housing and job insecurity. The congregation is partnering with other local congregations, government agencies, the school district, and other area non-profits to maximize resources and reach.

“In the past six months, we have seen a growth not only in the participation of the ministry but also in the interest generated in the community,” said Sally John, a leader in this ministry. “We hope to create more awareness among the general population of the plight of the homeless and unite organizations in the area to better provide a network of services. More importantly, we hope the homeless in our area will find a home within our faith community.”

The World Hunger Committee takes stewardship of the granting process seriously. “This isn’t an easy process,” said Pastor Jillian Riddle, World Hunger Committee and Synod Council member, “one we don’t take lightly. We spend a lot of time in prayerful consideration and discernment.”

“Our synod’s mission is to feed others as we have been fed by Christ,” said Cheryl Burns. “Working with the World Hunger Committee and Legacy Grant program is one way to do this. We gladly welcome people with a passion for addressing hunger to join us. We are also looking for volunteers to help congregations with the grant application process and to help our committee with the review process.”

For more information contact Burns at cherylsburns@gmail.com. For a complete list of Legacy Grants awarded in 2018, see below.

World Hunger

Photo: St. Stephen, New Kingstown

2018 LSS World Hunger Legacy Grants to Congregations and Community Partners

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Flohr’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, McKnightstown, was awarded $4,500 for their partnership with the Franklin Friends School Backpack Program.
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Trinity Lutheran Church, York, was awarded $1,000 to assist with food purchases to distribute in food bags.
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St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Hanover, was awarded $2,000 toward their “Rise Against Hunger Day in Hanover,” a community food-packing event.
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Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Lebanon, was awarded $2,500 for the development of and supplies for a community garden.
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Tree of Life Lutheran Church, Harrisburg, was awarded $3,000 for their “Feeding the 5000” food packing program.
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Zion Lutheran Church, Leola, was awarded $4,500 for the purchase of commercial kitchen equipment to assist in their hunger ministries.
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Salem Lutheran Church, Jacobus, was awarded $3,000 toward food purchases for their community’s Weekend Backpack Program.
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Our Saviour Lutheran Church, Harrisburg, was awarded $500 for their partnership with the Rockville Food Pantry.
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Grace Lutheran Church, Camp Hill, and Market Square Friends were awarded $1400 toward tables and supplies for their ministry to the homeless population in Harrisburg.
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St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, York, was awarded $4,000 for commercial refrigeration equipment for their food pantry.
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Mt. Zion Lutheran Church, Boiling Springs, was awarded $500 toward facilities improvements for their congregation’s hunger ministries.
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St. Stephen Lutheran Church, New Kingstown, was awarded $5,000 for their collaborative Preparing a Table ministry with area homeless.
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Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, East Berlin, was awarded $2,000 for their partnership with the Abbottstown/East Berlin Food Pantry.
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Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Lemoyne, was awarded $1,000 for their Trinity’s Table ministry that provides paper goods and toiletries to area residents in need.
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Luther Memorial Lutheran Church, York, was awarded $2,000 for their Food for Thought School Backpack Program.
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Zion Lutheran Church, Landisville, was awarded $2,000 for their community meal program.