Vicki Lindquist reminded me that today is the first day of March, which in Minnesota is Minnesota Food Share, a call to be even more generous in our donations of food and money to PROP. Here is the report from PROP’s website about last year’s campaign: Minnesota Food Share is a campaign to fight hunger in our community, where every dollar donated goes directly to food shelves to purchase food for the hungry. Every pound of food and cash donation to PROP during the month of March is part of a matched pool of funds. The community collected 87,002 pounds of food and we received $33,700. PROP provides an average of 466 food orders and 1108 fresh pantry visits each month, which means a distribution of an average of 67,397 pounds of food each month. Wow! That is a lot of need!
Our partnership with Oak Point Elementary School through The Sheridan Story began not even a month ago. Here we fund and servants deliver to classrooms every Friday weekend meals to kids who are on school lunch reduced-cost programs. Linda Rorke, who coordinates this ministry, has two things to report. First, it is a blast to do at 8 a.m. every Friday. If you want to know more about it contact Linda or Sally or Sunny, “The Before Church Coffee Ladies”; they have done it twice. The other is that the need at Oak Point is greater than anticipated. At first we thought it would be around 30 kids, but on the first Friday we delivered 38 meals and the principal said the list was growing. Trusting in your generosity, our response to that principal has been, “We at EPUMC will fund the need.”
Providing and serving a meal at the Simpson Shelter has also been a long time effort at EPUMC to fight hunger. Six times a year members of this team coordinate meals and then drive the foods down to Simpson Shelter in south Minneapolis. There they set up, serve about 100 homeless people and clean up about 8:30 p.m. This ministry needs some of us to step up and take it on. Our present team members are willing to pass on their experience, but without some of us stepping up soon, we may not be able to meet our May commitment.
I looked at the Church calendar and see that the first meeting for our CROPS for PROP Garden team is only two weeks away. That is not only a sign of spring; it’s also a reminder that helping people to eat healthy is an important piece of the fight against hunger. This food ministry grows fresh vegetables and then donates them to PROP. Last year we grew through your hard work and generosity; we donated over a ton and a half of fresh vegetables.
Finally, just about every month we send around 30 people to pack food at Feed My Starving Children. Dave Zuelke, who coordinates this ministry in addition to becoming an expert at packing meals into boxes, tells us that this experience is always a time when everyone has a chance to learn of their impact in the struggle to fight hunger on a global scale.
The need in our community and our world is great. And although we may not literally practice fasting at EPUMC, we certainly participate in the intended response -- recognizing the need of the hungry and responding any way we can.
Keep the Faith,