The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Food for thought

Youth get their congregations thinking about hunger

A little rice opened a world of possibility at St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church, Meyersville, Texas.

The Sunday school participated in the ELCA Hunger Program's "Open a World of Possibility: Bangladesh." They kicked off the year with a pep rally of cheers for God and to fight hunger. Then, to acquaint the youth with the people of Bangladesh and to show how gifts to the hunger program help, teachers showed the MOSAIC video story called "The Incredible Hunger-fighting Silkworm."

After the movie, the youth went to their classrooms and filled plastic bags with 1/4 cup of rice and an information card, which stated that this amount of food is a meal for children and adults in some countries. The bags were handed out in church to challenge the congregation to give more to fight hunger locally and globally.

Other ways youth have helped fight hunger include:

  • • Collecting peanut butter. Sunday school youth at Cross and Crown Lutheran Church, Matthews, N.C., renamed a hallway "Peanut Butter Parkway" and asked people to bring peanut butter for a pantry. To encourage giving, the fifth- and sixth-graders drew posters with slogans such as "A jar in your car." All students made covers for recipe booklets that were given to participating families. The drive, which collected 100 jars of peanut butter, concluded with a tasting party.

  • • Filling a boat. During Bible school at Grace Lutheran Church, Tomahawk, Wis., members were challenged to match their personal grocery store purchases with food for a local pantry. The youth watched each day as a real rowboat was filled with food and hygiene products. Grace gave 800 items from their "Boatload of Blessings" to the pantry.

  • • Going shopping. Confirmands at Peace Lutheran Church, Poplar, Wis., were given checks (the money came from a Lutheran Brotherhood grant) and told to shop and deliver groceries to a family who could benefit by a gift of food. They learned about helping others, what it means to struggle and shop within a budget, and about sharing resources.

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