CER Minister Founds Interfaith Program to Feed Hungry Children
If you've looked on Faithify lately you'll have seen a project called No Child Goes Hungry. This project was posted by Rev. Karen Rasmussen, minister of the UU Congregation of Columbia, MD. This project addresses her personal interest in making certain no child goes to bed hungry. We asked her about her project and her program and wondered how other congregations might get involved.
Why did you choose child hunger to focus on?
It’s crazy isn’t it, that any child goes hungry. It makes me the kind of frothing at the mouth kind of crazy that any kid doesn’t have enough to eat. In our schools, congregations and on our very own streets, kids go hungry every day. I’ve been a hunger activist for about seven years and I figured I could either let the issue overwhelm me or I could work to fix it-one kid and one meal at a time.
How does No Child Go Hungry work?
Once a donation is made to No Child Goes Hungry, I give a congregation or a small groups a grant or “seed money.” I offer to consult with the leadership of that group on how to feed kids in the community and the congregations in turn decides where in their community the money can best be used . The people of the congregation, both clergy and lay leaders, work with a local school or organization to directly feed kids. I talk with the on how they spent the grant and keep the accounting that way.
I mean, who better than the congregation on the ground in the community to work with a local school to make sure kids have enough food on the weekends?
For me, listening to the nine congregations who already have grants plan and organize to feed kids in their own communities is both exciting and inspiring.
What does it mean to be a partner with No Child Goes Hungry?
To partner with NCGH means your congregation or organization has a grant and you are working on ways to feed kids right in your own communities. I’m looking to branch out and offer seed money to scout troops, parent teacher organizations and small businesses so they can organize food raising for local shelters and schools. Many PTA’s in schools already have a pantry to get some food home for kids on the weekends. I also help congregations reach out to their local elementary schools for help with the national Blessings in the Backpack program. One of the first questions I ask a congregation is “which is the closest elementary school to you and do you know if they help feed kids on the weekends and holiday?” That gets the ball rolling for our partnership.
What is the project on Faithify raising money for?
To supply more congregations and small groups with seed money for provide meals for kids. The nine congregations already with grants are of three different denominations and in six different states plus the District of Columbia. 100% of the donations go directly to feeding kids and I have a waiting list of at least 14 more congregations ready to organize, plan and provide meals.
I serve as a change maker, a connector and a consultant to make sure no child ever goes to bed hungry.
To learn more about this project visit the No Child Goes Hungry website or watch the video below.