By Shannon Baker, BCM/D National Correspondent
NEWARK, Del.—Responding to hunger needs across Maryland and Delaware, this year’s offering at the annual meeting of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware will be used to help feed the hungry, shared Grace Schofield, BCM/D’s LoveLoud missionary.
The BCM/D Order of business committee voted for 51 percent of offering to go to the SBC World Hunger Fund (now called Global Hunger Relief); the other 49 percent will go to the BCM/D Hunger Initiative Fund, which functions to help churches start or develop food pantries or different hunger-related ministries, she said. In addition to the offering, which will be taken on the evening session on Monday, Nov. 11, messengers will be asked to donate non-perishable food items, also to be evenly distributed between the two food banks.
“It’s the easiest way to impact all of Maryland and all of Delaware with our food and financial donations because the two food banks distribute out to every county in the two states,” Schofield said.
She cited a recent United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) nationally representative survey, which noted 85.1 percent of U.S. households were food secure throughout 2011. The remaining 14.9 percent (17.9 million households) were food insecure.
(See the statistics at the end of this article for Maryland and Delaware, as reported by Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity (http://www.spotlightonpoverty.org.)
Food-insecure households (those with low and very low food security) had difficulty at some time during the year providing enough food for all their members due to a lack of resources.
Food insecurity may reflect a household’s need to make trade-offs between important basic needs, such as housing or medical bills, and purchasing nutritionally adequate foods.
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You can fight hunger, too!
At Connect 2013, the annual meeting of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware, this year’s offering will go to hunger causes. The BCM/D Order of Business committee voted for 51 percent of the offering to go to the SBC World Hunger Fund (now called Global Hunger Relief); the other 49 percent will go to the BCM/D Hunger Initiatives Fund, which functions to help churches start or develop food pantries or different hunger-related ministries. In addition to the offering, which will be taken on the evening session on Monday, Nov. 11, messengers will be asked to donate non-perishable food items, also to be evenly distributed between Maryland and Delaware food banks.
[/boxify]”Many people assume hunger only affects homeless people or people in cities, but the truth is that it’s a problem among rural, urban and suburban families,” said Schofield. “We are used to seeing the ads on TV where hungry kids are the ones in Africa with bloated stomachs and flies hanging around their faces, but the truth is the faces of hunger and poverty here in the U.S. look just like me or you.”
In their book, Confronting Suburban Poverty in America, Elizabeth Kneebone and Alan Berube note the poor population in America’s suburbs has grown faster than anywhere else in the country. During the 2000s, the number of poor people living in the suburbs grew by 64 percent—more than twice the growth rate in cities (29 percent).
“Once we start seeing the faces of hunger accurately, I think we will be able to meet the needs better,” Schofield said.
Wendy Mindte, BCM/D Missionary for ministry evangelism, agreed, “God says in Jeremiah 22:16, ‘He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?’ Serving others, is not a matter of whether or not we have the gift; God says that reaching out to those in need is what it means to know Him. May God put a yearning in our hearts to constantly seek out ways to serve others in our community.”
She added, “Taking care of the poor, the needy, the hungry, the orphans, the widows, the sick…any person in need in our community, is one of the ways that you and I take ownership of our faith.”
To help your church get plugged in to addressing hunger, visit www.bcmd.org/hunger. Also visit bcmd.org/poverty to access resources about MD/DE rescue missions, poverty initiatives, hunger funds, MD/DE food banks, ministry resources, related links and more. To learn more about hunger across our region and our nation, visit online at http://feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/hunger-studies/map-the-meal-gap.aspx.