Child Hunger Resources
Learn · Act · Advocate
Learn more about organizations across Michigan who feed children and youth (and adults).
Read more about how churches in the Michigan Conference are relieving hunger here.
Raising Hunger Awareness and Taking Action During Summer
Here are a few ideas for ways that your church can raise hunger awareness and take action during Summer.
Vacation Bible School Mission
Many churches do a mission project with VBS. Collecting food for a local food pantry is one way to connect the Food Truck Party theme with ways that kids can help relieve child hunger. Or ask members of the congregation or community to donate specific items that children can use to put together meal bags. Check out these ideas!
Bake with the Bible Curriculum
The Michigan Conference has partnered with Edible Theology to make their curriculum Bake with the Bible affordable for all our churches. For $25 you can purchase the 6-week curriculum with a version for children and a version for teens/adults. Learn more about the curriculum here.
Child Hunger and Food Security impacts thousands of children in Michigan
Despite the efforts of many dedicated organizations and agencies, food insecurity remains a persistent problem in Michigan. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately 1.3 million Michiganders faced food insecurity, and now, it is estimated that approximately 1.9 million individuals are food insecure in Michigan, 552,400 of which represent children. (Food Security Council, Initial Report: Covid-19 Findings and Recommendations, October 2020.)
Learn more about the impacts of COVID-19 on child food insecurity from Feeding America.
What is Food Insecurity?
Food insecurity is a lack of a stable and reliable means for getting the food that people need. There are several reasons: access and availability of food, poverty, job instability, food shortages and waste, nutritional quality, discrimination, to name a few.
Hunger in Michigan (Feeding America)
Facts about Child Hunger (Feeding America)
Food Insecurity and Covid-19 (Detroit Free Press)
Facts about Childhood Hunger (No Kid Hungry)
What are the Impacts?
Children facing hunger may struggle in school and beyond. They are more likely to:
- have less energy
- be more easily distracted
- repeat a grade
- come to school late or miss school entirely
- have more social or behavioral problems
Impact of Hunger (Feeding America)
September is Hunger Awareness Month
Download a flyer and placemat that you can use and share throughout the month of September (and beyond) to raise awareness of child hunger and take action to end it. Read more here.
Many organizations across Michigan provide food and resources to children and their families. These organizations provide weekend food programs and other programs for children facing food insecurity.
Each of the organizations that was supported through the Michigan Conference 5K is represented on the map of Michigan by a color coded dot. The dot indicates that county is served by that organization (the dot does not physical location of an organization). Click on the map to make it larger.
Weekend food kits - $100 provides food for one child for the entire year.
Ingham, Eaton, Clinton, Shiawassee, Livingston, Wayne Counties
Meet Up and Eat Up, Healthy School Pantry Program (among other programs).
Youth Food Programs - Healthy Food-Healthy Kids, Summer Food Service, After-School program (among many other programs).
Macomb, Oakland, Wayne Counties
Use these ideas or your own for ways to alleviate child hunger. Many of these ideas are focused for the 5K for Child Hunger Relief as part of the Michigan Annual Conference in June 2023.
Keep it simple, yet meaningful, with these ideas!
Individual 5K Walk, Run, Bike
Provide information for people to do a 5K (or another distance) on their own or with their household.
Use one of these ideas or add your own medium size ideas to take action against child hunger.
Church-wide 5K Walk, Run, Bike
Provide information for people to do a 5K (or another distance) for your church. Provide sponsor sheets for those who want to walk or for those who want to support walkers. The walk could be done together or on their own. Start at the church or a local park. You may want to use these Fact Sheets along the way.
Learn about what programs are offered for child hunger at local schools and non-profits in your community. Ask questions about what is needed and how you can get involved.
Bake Sale, Sub Sale, Pre-packaged food, etc. to raise money for child hunger. This may be a way for kids, tweens, or youth to get involved in creative ways.
Use one of these ideas or add your own big-sized ideas to take action against child hunger.
Community-wide 5K Walk, Run, Bike
Engage the community in a 1-mile or 5K. Provide the sign up forms, sponsor sheets, map, and more. Invite your community to take a bite out of child hunger together.
Plant a garden and donate the homegrown veggies to local organizations who can use it in their program or distribute the food.
Resources with ways to advocate for children and food security
Bread for the World
Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation's decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad. Bread provides ways to pray and take action, including letter writing campaigns to members of Congress. Learn more about Bread for the World and how you can get involved in ending hunger here.
Creative 5K Ideas
2021 - 5K for Child Hunger Relief
Thanks to everyone who participate in the 2021 - 5K for Child Hunger Relief. We raised over $54,000! Ten organizations located across Michigan will receive donations to support child hunger initiatives including summer food programs and school-year backpack programs among many others. You can learn about the 10 organizations below.
Read the June 7th article about the 5K here
Central UMC in Sault Ste. Marie, provides backpacks for hungry elementary age children. We work with the counselors at Lincoln Elementary School who designate children in need. The children take a backpack home on Friday so they will have food for the weekend. They return the backpack on Monday. We refill them for the following weekend. During the 2020-21 school year, 33 students received backpacks every weekend.
Every summer we have a rummage sale with all the proceeds going to purchase food for the backpack outreach. A picture of our upcoming rummage sale is below. We mark the items low so they will sell. However, once people find out why we are doing it, they are generous with their donations!
Contact Central UMC here
Stony Creek UMC supports a local elementary school with food and school supplies. The social worker and teachers can access it to send food home with kids who need it. There are also regular families who go through and "shop" in the pantry.
Contact Stony Creek UMC here
Birmingham First UMC has a Hunger Ministries Committee that coordinates fundraisers and action days throughout the year:
- Hunger Sunday - every second Sunday of the month people are encouraged to put loose change/bill/checks in the offering or donate online
- Home Food Table - 4 times per year various small groups make items at home that are sold during coffee hour on Sunday morning
- Empty Bowls - soup and bread supper on Ash Wednesday
- Kroger Card - people are encouraged to sign up through their Kroger card account to have a small percentage of their sales donated by Kroger
- Produce Table - people bring in fresh produce from their gardens for others to purchase on Sundays
- NOAH Project - make 300 sandwiches 3-4 times a year
- Pumpkin Patch - mid to late October, sell pumpkins from the front lawn
- Cookie Walk - in December people donate cookies and are able to buy a mix of cookies by the pound
Learn about additional activities by contacting Birmingham First UMC here
Provide a soup supper during Lent to raise hunger awareness and as a fundraiser to support local organizations that fight hunger.
Use this planning guide for ideas and helpful tips to get you started. Donate the money to local food pantries, food banks, or one of the organizations listed below.
Create your own placemat or use the one from Hunger Awareness Month!
Last Updated on July 6, 2023