Volunteering with a feeding program, hosting a Food Truck Party VBS, using Bake with Bible curriculum. Just some of the many ways to raise awareness and feed Michigan’s hungry kids.
Children’s Initiatives Coordinator, Michigan Conference
Jesus met the needs of the people around him. When the crowds gathered and it was time to eat, he made a way to feed them. There were no fast food joints or food trucks to call on. He used faith, miracles, and what was on hand to feed a crowd of hungry people. Over and over we see examples of people being fed in the Bible. We still see the need for people to be fed today.
Last Fall I started volunteering with Weekend Survival Kits in the greater Lansing area. On Thursday mornings twice a month a handful of people worked together to pack kits of food into the back of cars, SUVs, pick-ups, and box trucks. It was amazing how quickly the 2,500 kits of food were emptied out of the community center and transported to local schools. A few hours of work helped thousands of children know they had something to eat on the weekend when they were out of school.
Similar weekend food programs, as well as weekday and summer feeding programs, exist all across Michigan. Some are larger organizations, like regional food banks, Weekend Survival Kits, Blessings in a Backpack, and Kids’ Food Baskets. And others are smaller, like community or church-sponsored programs. All are important.
There are many ways to learn about, take action, and advocate for child hunger relief (as well as hunger relief in general). Starting now, you can make a difference! Several opportunities are available for churches to get involved with or use on-site.
- 5K for Hunger Relief – in 2021 we raised $54,396 which was distributed amongst 10 food-related organizations in Michigan. We are on a mission again in 2022 to walk, run, bike, or wag our way to relieving childhood hunger. You can walk in Traverse City during Annual Conference on June 2 at 11:00 am or plan an event at your church on Sunday, June 5th. Can we raise even more this year? Learn more here.
- Not interesting in walking or running? You can donate to the 5K effort here.
- Food Truck Party Vacation Bible School – Many churches are using the Food Truck Party VBS this summer. Raise money or collect food for a local food bank or pantry. Share resources about food insecurity with families or partner with another church in a community with higher food insecurity to share stories and learn together.
- Bake with the Bible 6-week curriculum – Through a special partnership between Edible Theology and the Michigan Conference, churches can download the 6-week Bake with the Bible curriculum for just $25 (includes a children’s curriculum and a youth curriculum). Learn stories in the Bible about food and bake bread along the way! Use this link for the discount.
- Worship & Faith Formation – Talk about stories from the Bible about food, feeding people, and hunger. You can find scripts for Children’s Time, children’s literature recommendations as well as Family Faith Playlists right here.
- What would you add to this list?
The Child Hunger Working Group has been busy compiling a list of churches and organizations that serve children and youth (as well as adults) to relieve hunger and food insecurity. You may find this list helpful if you want to start a new hunger ministry in your area or partner with a church or existing organization. If you have a hunger ministry and would like to be added to this list, please contact Kathy Pittenger ([email protected]).
From Little Free Food Pantries to Kits of Food for the weekend to summer lunch programs to healthy eating and learning to garden classes, together we can continue to make a difference in the lives of hungry children every day. Ready to take the next step? Advocate for children and food security at Bread for the World and Feeding America.