Our outreach and advocacy for those suffering hunger, malnutrition, or lack of food security is coordinated through our Hunger Committee and through Episcopal Charities and Community Services.
In response to God’s call for compassion, love, and service, the Hunger Committee:
- Communicates about hunger prevention and relief efforts, using diocesan e-news and other media;
- Supports educational programs and resources on hunger and related issues in order to raise awareness, guide action, and advocate for hungry people;
- Promotes changes in public policy that would make available more food for hungry people and would impact the root causes of hunger;
- Represents the diocese in state, national, international, and ecumenical organizations and activities that fight hunger;
- Participates in local efforts to raise awareness of and funds for local feeding programs and international relief and development.
- Provides small grants to diocesan congregations and ministries to provide direct food relief in their communities.
The Hunger Committee serves as a resource for congregational and regional feeding programs, education on hunger issues, and advocacy efforts on behalf of those with food insecurity. Read the Hunger Committee’s annual report to the 2021 Diocesan Convention.
CROP Hunger Walks
Representatives from the Hunger Committee help to organize the Chicago CROP Hunger Walk and promote other hunger walks throughout our diocese. The committee is one of the recipients of the 25% local portion of Chicago CROP Walk funds and distributes them to Chicago Episcopal congregation-based soup kitchens, food pantries, and other feeding programs that apply for its small grants each year. In spring 2021, the Hunger Committee distributed $2,123.27 from the 2020 Chicago CROP Hunger Walk to six hunger ministries affiliated with Chicago congregations: Care for Friends at Church of Our Savior, Ravenswood Community Services at All Saints, St. Chrysostom’s, St. James Cathedral, St. Paul & Redeemer, and St. Thomas. Congregations which participated in or supported the walk received a greater share of funds. View a slideshow from the 2021 Chicago Crop Hunger Walk Virtual Rally.
2021 Hunger Grant Awards
In September 2021, the committee awarded $2,400, mostly from our diocesan budget, to twelve hunger programs in our diocese: St. Edward & Christ, Joliet; St. Mark’s, Glen Ellyn; Calvary, Lombard; Sandwich Board at Trinity, Aurora; St. Mark’s, Evanston; St. Thomas, Chicago; St. Martin’s, Des Plaines; St. John, Lockport; St. James Cathedral; St. Paul’s, Warsaw; St. Nicholas, Elk Grove Village; and St. Chrysostom’s, Chicago.
Bread for the World Offering of Letters
The Hunger Committee encourages education and advocacy about hunger issues. It is the conduit for the diocese’s membership in Bread for the World, a national ecumenical hunger advocacy organization, and the Illinois Hunger Coalition, which organizes state level advocacy and helps families or individuals apply for food assistance and find feeding programs in their communities.
In June 2021, the Hunger Committee hosted a Zoom presentation by Mr. Zach Schmidt of Bread for the World to introduce diocesan congregations to the organization and its Offering of Letters, though which congregation members write to their Senators and Representatives in Congress to advocate for policies that reduce food insecurity. A recording of the webinar and the accompanying slide presentation are available for download and viewing:
View Diocese of Chicago locations currently offering food pantries and meal programs on the diocesan asset map below. If your congregation has a feeding ministry not listed on the map or the list below, please contact Jen Boyle-Tucker for help updating your congregation’s listing.