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 firstname.lastname@example.org. For a complete list of Legacy Grants awarded in 2018, see below.
Photo: St. Stephen, New Kingstown