The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Listen, God is calling

When God called, Kellie Kinsella and her father, Kevin, responded. The result? To date almost $71,000 raised to fight hunger in Palatine, Ill.

Last summer they learned at their congregation, All Saints Lutheran in Palatine, that the local food pantry—which serves about 180 needy families a month—was almost out of food. They enlisted youth at two local high schools and several area congregations to form Youth Hunger Opposition in Palatine with a goal of raising $100,000.

The $100,000 is an important number, Kellie Kinsella said, “since the pantry is only allowed to use 50 percent of what is raised each year. This means money will be left in the fund.”

The ecumenical nature of YHOP includes a connection with Willow Creek Community Church, South Barrington, Ill., a well-known megachurch, said Seth Moland-Kovash, an All Saints pastor. “Willow Creek opened a branch warehouse for the Chicagoland Food Depository that distributes to various food pantries, allowing the Palatine facility to buy groceries for $1 per bag rather than purchasing food at the grocery store,” he said.

“I have no idea why I have been called to do something like this .... But my personal trust in God has grown in knowing that he will take care of whatever is going on in my life,” Kellie Kinsella said. “And seeing [other] kids get a chance to use their faith for something they believe in has been so rewarding.”


Joe Besenjak

Joe Besenjak

Posted at 1:19 pm (U.S. Eastern) 3/12/2008

Way to go YHOP for working so hard to feed hungry families. I'm the Exec Director of the Willow Creek Community Care Center and Food Pantry and I wanted to drop-in a few clarifying words. First, the food bank mentioned in this piece is actually the Greater Chicago Food Depository (GCFD). While our Care Center and Food Pantry is a member agency of GCFD, we are not a branch of that organization. We did agree to use our facility to be a distribution center in order to allow other pantries in the area take advantage of the significant discounts made available through GCFD. And rather than a per bag charge, the cost for each item from GCFD varies (many are free to member agencies). For more information on GCFD, visit http://www.chicagosfoodbank.org/ or call 773-247-3663. For more info on the Willow Creek Care Center and Food Pantry, email me (Joe) at jbesenjak@willowcreek.org.

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Embracing diversity