Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Brethren funds offer replenishment grants for local hunger ministries.

The Church of the Brethren's Global Food Crisis Fund and Emergency Disaster Fund have begun a new program to encourage congregations to make a special effort this winter to respond to local food bank or soup kitchen financial needs. The "Domestic Hunger Matching Grant" program is a partnership with the Church of the Brethren's stewardship department.

Congregations will be matched dollar for dollar--up to $500--for a gift to one local food bank or soup kitchen. The program will be in place through March 15. It was developed "in response to the worsening supply crisis in our nation's food banks," said Ken Neher, director of stewardship and donor development.

To qualify for the grant a congregation must raise new funds for the food crisis, fill out and return an application form, and enclose a copy of the check it writes to the food bank or soup kitchen. Matching checks will be issued in the charity's name and mailed to the requesting congregation for forwarding to the local organization. Matching grants will be issued until the $50,000 set aside for the program by the two funds is exhausted.

The grant program also is a way that the Church of the Brethren is contributing to a new emphasis of the ecumenical organization Christian Churches Together (CCT). Each member organization and denomination in CCT is addressing poverty in a specific way through Easter 2009, according to Wendy McFadden, who helps represent the Church of the Brethren at CCT.

Said Neher: "We pray this will inspire your congregation to respond generously to this growing crisis in our own neighborhoods."

Source: 12/31/2008 Newsline

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