The Northwest Ohio Hunger Task Force has launched a bold campaign: 100,000 Meals to Feed Northwest Ohio. The project aims to raise $25,000 to purchase ingredients for 100,000 meals to be distributed by the Seagate Food Bank to soup kitchens, shelters and food pantries throughout Northwest Ohio.
I’m a pastor and I got a letter from Toledo Area Ministries asking my congregation to help raise part of the money. Local congregations like mine will take up an offering during the month of September. Please ask your pastor, rabbi, or congregational leader if your faith community can receive an offering as a part of this project. Toledo Area Ministries asks that each parishioner donate $1 each to this project.
Last Sunday I announced to my church that we will receive this offering next Sunday. I told them that if they are unemployed, live on a fixed income, or are facing great hardship that the $1 per person sounds like a fine goal; every gift is important. Most anyone can find $1 in their sofa cushions.
But seriously, for the rest of us, I think we can do better. I challenged my congregation members to be sacrificial in our giving because there is nothing more basic than the call to feed our hungry brothers and sisters. (Congregations and individuals can send donations to: Toledo Area Ministries, subject line: 100,000 meals, at 3034 Monroe Street, Toledo, OH 43606).
There are people in our own congregations who will benefit from the soup kitchens and the food boxes at food pantries that we will pay for with the money donated to the 100,000 Meals to Feed Northwest Ohio. Others of us are blessed with plenty of food to eat, a roof over our head and jobs to go to every day.
We have enough and we can donate money to provide food for others. Yes, we are living in a tough economy and we have suffered in Northwest Ohio, but we are all in this together. I am grateful that the good people at the Northwest Ohio Hunger Task Force and the Seagate Food Bank are working on our behalf to feed our hungry brothers, sisters and children in Northwest Ohio.
If your congregation or family is looking for a “hands on” project as a way to care for others, there is one more way you can help. On Saturday, Oct. 20 beginning at 9 a.m., 200 to 300 volunteers will give one or more hours of time to package the food. Volunteers need to be high school age or older. For more information about volunteering, contact Donnajean Stockmaster at Toledo Area Ministries, 419-242-7401.