With the increases in the cost for food and basic necessities, families throughout West Virginia are scrambling to provide for their loved ones. Many are turning to mission projects of the West Virginia Annual Conference for assistance.
As a result, requests for assistance have increased at all of our mission projects due to the costs for food and other necessities. Tyrand Cooperative Ministries, for instance, is serving approximately 94 families a month, up from a previous average of 30 families, according to Belinda Toms and Makayla Harris. Scott’s Run has experienced a 20 percent increase in the usage of its food pantry in 2023. Upshur Parrish House has also seen an increase in its food distributions. Ebenezer Outreach is dependent on more funding to feed the children of its community.
The need is high, yet there is a limited amount of funding available to meet the needs of people across the state.
The WVUMC Hunger Grant Fund seeks to help the mission agencies due its work in assisting individuals with needs. According to Elizabeth Bailes, who is the coordinator of the WVUMC Hunger Grant, the program is about $2,000 short of its intended goal for 2023.
The grant seeks to provide approximately $1,000 to each of the conference’s seven missions sites each year. As well, it also provides funding to local churches seeking assistance for its food pantries or backpack programs. Those grants typically range from $250-$500.
“The requests have doubled, and I have already heard from two churches asking for applications for next year,” Bailes said.
There is a need to help support the mission agencies and local food pantries provide help to their communities this Thanksgiving and Christmas.
If you wish to donate to the Hunger Grant, please give through your local church. The church should then send the money along with their church remittance form, earmarked for “Hunger Grant #220.” Make checks payable to Conference Treasurer and mail to PO Box 2469, Charleston, WV 25329.
If you prefer to give online, go to: https://wvumc-reg.brtapp.com/HungerGrantDonations
For more information on the grant or how to help the mission sites of the West Virginia Annual Conference, please contact Bailes for more information.