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Presbyterian Hunger Program
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For more information

Jennifer Evans
(800) 728-7228, x5819
Send email

Or write to:
100 Witherspoon Street
Louisville, KY 40202

Grants for projects within the United States

Small Grants for PC(USA) Congregation-Based Initiatives to Build the Local Food Economy

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Grants are for $100-$1,000 with a total of $20,000 available for the year. Turn-around for approved grants will be less than four weeks. Learn more about the New Small Grants Program for PC(USA) Congregations here.

Eligibility and Criteria

The numbers of hungry people in the United States continue to swell despite widespread civil society efforts to feed the hungry through food banks, food pantries, soup kitchens and other direct service programs. Reduced social spending by the government, an outdated minimum wage, growing numbers of working poor, persistent unemployment and other structural issues can be bandaged with feeding programs, but not cured. Eligible organizations are those that work in one or more of the traditional five areas and fit the following criteria:

A. Organizations, including PC(USA) congregations, demonstrating that a significant part of their work, or the specific project for which funds are being sought, attempts to address the root and systemic causes of hunger, will be eligible for grants from $500 to $20,000.

B.Organizations whose strategies, activities and outcomes do not sufficiently attempt to address root causes of hunger will not be eligible for funding.  Exceptions to this are:

  • Presbyterian congregations running a hunger or homelessness ministry - eligible for one year of funding up to $1,000 to match local financial or in-kind contributions. (see Congregational Hunger Ministry Grants)
  • Presbyterian congregations creating a new hunger ministry or adding to an existing hunger ministry with a new type of hunger/poverty initiative will be eligible for seed funds up to $2,000 to match local financial or in-kind contributions. (see Congregational Hunger Ministry Grants )

Specific Criteria
Proposals do not need to fit neatly into one of these five areas, but may include activities in multiple areas.

1. Direct Food Relief:
The proposed activities shall provide food relief to impoverished people in either acute or chronic conditions of hunger with an eye to long-range solutions. Ordinarily, applications for direct food ministries (food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, etc.) in the United States shall come from or through the sessions of Presbyterian Congregations which support those ministries. Grants may be made for (a) start-up costs for new programs and/or (b) new projects of existing programs which attempt to deal with the root causes of hunger in their community. Normally, PHP grants shall not exceed the contribution (financial and/or in-kind) of the applying congregation.

2. Development Assistance:
The proposed activities shall provide for a multifaceted approach to development and the empowerment of impoverished people in such areas as agricultural training, community organization, economic development, nutrition education, public health and/or family planning. The proposed activities may increase employment opportunities or provide assistance to unemployed persons.

3. Public Policy Advocacy:
The proposed activities shall advocate, through just and peaceful means, political, corporate and/or economic policy changes which (a) provide food for impoverished and hungry people at home and abroad; (b) empower the participants’ self-development; or (c) promote freedom from oppressive and unjust systems that fail to meet basic needs.

4. Lifestyle Integrity:
The proposed activities shall assist the church to move toward sustainable corporate and personal lifestyles sensitive to the reality of the earth's limited resources and the critical needs of the human family.

5. Education and Interpretation:
The proposed activities shall educate the church and the public at large about the root causes of hunger and inspire, equip and connect people to act and to educate others. The proposed activities shall provide opportunities for learning among and with communities of need.

Note: If you are unsure whether or not your project or organization is eligible for funding after you have read the criteria above, please contact Jennifer Evans by email or (502) 569-5819 for assistance.

2015 Application Process 
(NOTE: There is a separate application process for Presbyterian congregations applying for a Congregational Hunger Ministry. See below.)

Applicants must follow these steps to submit a grant application to the Presbyterian Hunger Program:

  • Submit a Letter of Inquiry no later than April 30. 
  • If your Letter of Inquiry results in an invitation to submit a proposal, you will be sent a link to the Online Application and submit an application. Mailed or emailed proposals will not be accepted. (Applications will only be accepted from groups invited to submit.)
  • Await grant decisions following the Advisory Board meeting. You will receive notification of the Board’s decision by email before the end of October.
  • 2014 grantees who received $5,000 or more do not need to submit the Letter of Inquiry.  2014 grantees who received less than $5,000 will need to submit the Letter of Inquiry.

The Letter of Inquiry (no longer than 2 pages; minimum of 1-inch margins and 11 point font; no attachments) should describe your organization and the purpose for which funding is being sought. Please include the total project costs and the requested grant amount. (See Writing a Letter of Inquiry below.)  The Presbyterian Hunger Program will notify you by email as to whether or not a full proposal will be invited for consideration. Proposals will be due by June 30.

The Letter of Inquiry must be received by email on or before April 30 to be considered in the current year. Letters received after that will be considered the following year. The Letter of Inquiry should be addressed to: Jennifer Evans, Administrative Assistant.

Congregational Hunger Ministry Grant Application

Congregational hunger grants are available one time, a second year of support is only possible if the ministry is new

Congregations that wish to apply for a larger amount must fit the criteria for regular grants (see A. under Eligibility and Criteria) and may use the regular Letter of Inquiry process (see below).

Contact Jennifer Evans by email or (502) 569-5819 for more information about the application process.

Writing a Letter of Inquiry

An effective letter of inquiry is often more difficult to write than a full proposal.  The letter of inquiry should be brief―no more than two pages―and must be a succinct but thorough presentation of the need or problem you have identified, the proposed solution, and your group's qualifications for implementing that solution. More on writing a letter of inquiry. The letter of inquiry should be sent by email to Jennifer Evans  no later than April 30. Letters received after that date will be considered the following year.

Optional Guides for Self-Monitoring and Self-Evaluation

Optional Guides for Self-Monitoring and Self-Evaluating (Word) (PDF)



  • Shelly, the deadline for applying for a regular national grant for this year has passed. Those application will be decided on in the fall. Letters of Inquiry for the next grant cycle will be due April 30th. Please check back in February of next year for more information on that process. Applications for small grants for PC(USA) Congregation-Based Initiatives to Build the Local Food Economies are accepted on an ongoing basis. by Jessica Maudlin on 07/22/2013 at 9:33 a.m.

  • I was wondering if all the 2013 grant money was gone and when will the 2014 year open? Thank you. by Shelly Page on 07/21/2013 at 3:44 p.m.

  • We give grants to 501c3 non-profits and PC(USA) congregations. Non-faith-based organizations are eligible. Please make sure you read the criteria on this page,, before you get started. For direct relief, we work almost exclusively with PC(USA) congregations. There are two exceptions to that on that page. by Jessica Maudlin on 06/03/2011 at 8:33 a.m.

  • Is this program for non-faith base organizations? We are CBO in Stockton that serves hungry youths that are at-risk, homeless, runaway youth ages 12-20. Our Drop-In Center is open Monday-Friday 8am-5pm for breakfast, lunch and dinner and snacks. We also have a Street Outreach team that provides snacks and drinks to those out on the streets. by Kathleen Serna-Halliday on 06/02/2011 at 1:20 p.m.

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