Faith In Action: Families Help at a Food Bank - Long-term
Activity time: 10 minutes
Preparation for Activity
- Identify a food bank, the kitchen of a homeless shelter, a food recovery program, or another organization or service in your area that welcomes families, including young children, to assist in their work. Find out which projects need volunteers and what the volunteers do, including where and when.
- Talk to the children's parents and your director of religious education to gauge interest in and availability to participate in the service project(s) you have identified.
- Prepare your religious education program's standard permission slip for off-site activities.
Description of Activity
Food on the table is as much a blessing as the company being shared. Some people struggle to provide meals for their families. Children and their families could spend time helping to prepare and serve a meal at a shelter. However, it is not just the homeless that have food struggles. The working poor have them also, and to help this population many communities have food banks or food recovery services.
You may need to do some research to find these agencies. Members of your Justice or Social Action Committee might be able to help.
Once you have the name of an agency, call and ask how the children and their families can help. May they stack cans in a food pantry? May they help fill grocery bags for pick-up? If you pick a food recovery agency, you might visit a restaurant or food store near your congregation and recruit them to become part of the food recovery network.
When you introduce this Faith in Action activity to the children, you may like to ask others in your congregation who have volunteered with the same agency or done a similar service project to present it with you. When you present the plan, remind children that the "thank you" a grace signifies before a meal includes the food itself as well as the company of the people we'll share it with, and the other comforts and joys for which we are grateful.
Whatever project you do, try to arrange for the children to tour the facilities and hear from an agency or service worker about why their work is important and what children can do to help eradicate hunger.