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Fighting hunger, South Carolina Style

Photo by Matt Brodie

From spring hat luncheons to Pennies from Heaven buckets, United Methodist churches across South Carolina got creative in their fundraising to fight hunger.

The S.C. Conference of the UMC called on every United Methodist in the state to help put a dent in the hunger problem by participating in a one-day conference-wide hunger relief event this past Summer. The hunger relief day hosted a canned food drive, plus a Stop Hunger Now meal-packaging event, with youth and adults teaming up in three shifts to pack more than 285,000 meals for the food-impoverished. Those who could not attend the function were asked to hold a hunger ministry event in their own local church on that day. The World Service Fund supports ministries that engage with the poor.

The conference raised $169,000 for the “Stop Hunger Now” meal-packing, and churches are having some fun as they try new ways to raise money for the hungry.

The Rev. Rufus Snowden, who pastors the Fisher Chapel/St. Stephen Charge, Waterboro District, is one of many across South Carolina who committed to help. St. Stephen UMC, Ridgeland, might be tiny with just 16 members, but the church has a very active food bank that feeds about 1,000 people a week. Members were called to help with the conference hunger event because they see the need firsthand, Snowden said.

“People are hungry and need food,” Snowden said simply, noting the church gave a sizeable donation.

Many churches participated in raising money for hunger relief such as Grace UMC, Charleston who in addition to collecting canned goods, had a covered dish dinner with donations going to the hunger relief day. Aynor UMC, Aynor, had a bread basket at the chancel rail for people to put their loose change in, and their United Methodist Women sponsored a chicken casserole lunch after church one Sunday, with proceeds going to the hunger relief day. There were many other congregations who raised money for the worthy cause.

Other congregations such as Cherokee Springs and Liberty UMCs in Spartanburg, did a jingle-jangle of coins fundraiser to raise money for the hunger relief event. Trinity UMC, York, has been collecting Coins for Christ the last Sunday of each month, plus they also received a special offering on Maundy Thursday for “Stop Hunger Now” and the Band of Brothers men’s group at St. John’s UMC, Rock Hill, had their Pennies from Heaven buckets in the church lobbies during Lent and beyond for people to give.

There were also special offerings taken for the relief effort at other congregations. Adnah and First UMCs in Clover collected Ash Wednesday offerings for the project; Leesville and St. John’s UMCs, Batesburg, designated the offering from their combined Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services to the relief, raising more than $500 and St. John UMC, Sumter, took special offerings during special services for hunger relief, collecting $156.

There were many churches in the South Carolina area that participated in this relief event that are not mentioned in this excerpt, but we applaud you as well.

— excerpt from a story by Jessica Connor, South Carolina United Methodist Advocate

Please encourage your leaders and congregations to support the World Service Fund apportionment at 100%.

“Reprinted with permission of the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate.”

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