The Diocesan Hunger Fund believes in ending hunger and envisions a diocese where congregations nourish their spirits by nourishing the marginalized. Despite government programs, the poor and working poor often do not have enough to feed themselves and their families through the end of the month. Food pantries and feeding ministries help these families fill this gap, which makes supporting these programs vital to ensuring thousands do not go hungry. The Hunger Fund uses your contributions to disburse grants to feeding programs across the diocese that supply food to hungry, impoverished children and adults--not a penny of grant money is spent on administrative costs.
Annual Hunger Walks
The annual Hunger Walks are the primary fundraiser for the grant program, and committee members invite you and your congregation to participate.
What the Hunger Fund Does
The Hunger Fund provides grants to programs that feed those faced with hunger and malnutrition in the geographical area of the diocese. These grants frequently spell success to programs experiencing shortfalls.
The Hunger Fund Committee receives no funding from the diocesan budget. It is solely funded by donations from churches, many of which have continuing programs to bring donations while others have periodic special campaigns. Funds are transmitted to the diocesan business affairs office as special offerings. This fund is a useful means for Christians to do their share toward alleviating hunger.
Applying for a Grant
All organizations must be located within the bounds of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington (Washington, D.C., and the Maryland counties Montgomery, Prince George's, Charles and St. Mary's) in order to apply. The Hunger Fund Committee meets quarterly, and it reviews applications and disburse grants in June and December.
How can I Become Involved?
It's easy. Here's a recommended plan typical of ones used by a number of churches. The 3rd Sunday of each month is designated "Hunger Sunday." Envelopes marked Hunger Fund are put into pew racks. Before the offertory, the rector or vicar calls attention to the envelopes. They are received in the alms basin and their contents are counted separately. A check for the total is drawn to the Diocese of Washington and mailed with an Accounts Receivable Remittance form, indicating what amount is for the Diocesan Hunger Fund and what amount, if any, is for another named agency.
Where Does the Money Go?
The Hunger Fund Committee provides grants to support organizations within the Diocese that work to alleviate hunger in our community. Since January, 2009, eighteen organizations have received a total of $78,514 from the Hunger Fund in the form of grants ranging from $750 to $5,000. Here’s a list of how the Fund has been put to work.
Food Pantries, Food Banks, and Food Distribution programs
Run by member congregations
- Christ Church, Port Tobacco Parish Food Pantry, La Plata, Maryland - Provides food assistance in Charles County via their Food Pantry, and provides a hearty meal at the Hughesville Shelter every 5th Friday.
- Joe’s Place of Christ Church, Old Durham Parish, Nanjemoy, Maryland - Provides three days worth of groceries to families in the economically struggling Nanjemoy area.
- St. Philip the Evangelist, SE, Washington, DC - Provides an emergency food distribution center that is open two days per week.
- St. Luke's, Washington, DC - Offers a weekly Friday Morning Breakfast feeding program
Run by other organizations
- First National Baptist Church of Southeast, Washington, DC - Provides multiple services, including groceries, to the homeless and destitute primarily in Ward 7.
- Mid-County United Ministries/Captain Joseph A. Mattingly Food Pantry, Wheaton, Maryland - Provides bags of groceries to low income individuals and families in the Wheaton area.
- Reaching the World Community Development, Washington, DC - Provides food baskets for the homeless and hungry in Wards 7 and 8 and Prince George’s County.
- Wayside Food Bank, Swan Point, Maryland - Provides bags a three-day supply of food to hungry families in the Cobb Neck area.
- We Are Family Senior Outreach Network, Washington, DC, - www.wearefamilydc.org/ - Provides grocery bags to isolated low-income seniors in the Columbia Heights/Park View and North Capitol/Shaw neighborhoods.
Run by member congregations
- Charlie’s Place at St. Margaret’s, Washington, DC, charliesplacedc.org - Provides a wide range of services, including a hot breakfast Tuesdays through Fridays
- Kwanzaa Kitchen at St. George's, Washington, DC, www.stgeorgesdc.org - Provides breakfast every other Saturday throughout the year to disadvantaged clients in the LeDroit Park area of northwest Washington
- Loaves and Fishes at St. Stephen & the Incarnation, Washington, DC, - www.loavesandfishesdc.org - Provides a hot meal at noon on Saturday, Sundays and most federal holidays to the homeless and working poor in the area
- St. Columba’s Water Ministry, Washington, DC, www.columba.org - Provides services , including meals, 4 days a week, September through May
- St. Michael and All Angels Community Dinner, Adelphi, Maryland, www.stmichaeladelphi.org - Provides a monthly meal and groceries to the needy in the Adelphi area
- Welcome Table, Church of the Epiphany, Washington, DC, www.epiphanydc.org - Provides a hot breakfast every Sunday morning to mostly homeless and disadvantaged people in downtown Washington
Run by other organizations
- Miriam’s Kitchen, Washington, DC, www.miriamskitchen.org - Provides an array of services, including meals, to the homeless in the area
- Shepherd’s Table, Silver Spring, Maryland, www.shepherdstable.org - Provides an array of services, including dinner every evening of the year
- Thrive, DC, Washington, DC, www.thrivedc.org - Provides a hot meal at twice daily five days a week as well as groceries
- Central Union Mission, Washington, DC, www.missiondc.org - Provides a wide array of services to the homeless and working poor in Washington, DC, including meals
Hunger Fund Committee
The committee meets the second Thursday of even-numbered months.
- S. Lee Mericle, Chair
- The Rev. Eric W. Shoemaker
- Rebecca Browning
- Susan Dolan
- William MacKaye
- Cheryl Maxwell
- Keith Powell
- Joyce Walker
For more information, contact the Hunger Fund Committee.