Your congregation and your Presbyterian Hunger Program complement each other!
In communities around the nation, congregations and organizations are doing hunger relief work and other important activities to address homelessness and poverty. Many congregations grow and share produce, offer meals, and support various types of feeding programs. They provide funding, sell fair trade items, educate themselves on the root causes of hunger, and advocate with public officials and corporations alike.
To the right is a graphic that shows the percentages of PC(USA) congregations doing different types of hunger, poverty and related justice work as of 2012. You can download and read the short analysis.
Funding for local ministries may come from a single congregation, or a coalition of churches and organizations working together. Some likely places to look for funding are:
- Local or regional foundations – especially those with criteria to support feeding programs and social services. Find possibilities in your area at www.cof.org/community-foundation-locator
- Sometimes the Presbytery or Synod has available funds. It doesn’t hurt to ask. Some presbyteries have a Hunger Action Advocate (HAA). The list of HAAs is here: www.presbyterianmission.org/haa
- Local businesses sometimes offer financial or in-kind contributions, or will match their employees’ gifts
- United Way
- Township, city or county grants
- Individual donors
- Fundraisers (e.g. concerts, silent auctions, events and meals)
As Presbyterians, we also support work that advocates for changes in systems that are keeping people hungry and in poverty.
Your Presbyterian Hunger Program (PHP) focuses especially on education and campaigns geared at eliminating the root causes of hunger and ensuring that all of God’s children have an equitable share.
In the United States and internationally, the PHP mission is accomplished in part by providing financial support to organizations and community groups which are working with us to end systemic causes of hunger, poverty, and related injustices. We work in five areas:
- Direct Food Relief combined with Root Cause Work
- Sustainable Development
- Intentional and Sustainable Living
PHP also provides education and avenues for engagement through study trips, bible studies, webinars, and faithful action campaigns. Click on ‘Get Engaged’ at pcusa.org/hunger
Among the PHP Resources you may find useful are these three:
- Just Eating? Practicing Our Faith at the Table – a seven-session curriculum for congregations that explores the relationship between the way we eat and the way we live. Using scripture, prayer, and stories from the local and global community, the study explores key aspects of our relationship with food. Download for free at pcusa.org/justeating or call PDS at 800-524-2612 to purchase the Leader’s Guide ($6), Participant Manual ($4), or Middle School Version ($10). Contact email@example.com for other versions.
- Food Sovereignty for All Handbook – guide for creating a community garden or other faith-based initiative. Download for free at bit.ly/foodhandbook.
- Advocating for Change – a guide for how churches and food banks can be involved in advocacy related to hunger. Download for free at bit.ly/advocacyfoodbank.