The UUCWC Council for Faith in Action’s (CFA) recent quarterly meeting included members of the Food Ministry Team. Following the update of activities from all CFA Teams, the group focused on the impact of COVID-19 and the growing need regarding food insecurity in our communities in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey. It became clear that this has emerged as a common theme informing our efforts. Actions taken included:
- Faith Action Ministry (FAM) gathering food and monetary donations for the families of students in the ESL classes led by UUCWC members; (link to past newsletter article)
- Food Ministry beginning to reimagine how they can prepare and distribute meals while maintaining appropriate safety protocols.
- Social Action Ministry coming up with an alternate way to fulfill our commitment to the annual Loaves and Fishes program. (link to past newsletter article)
In the fall of 2019, CFA was restructured to reflect its original purpose: to gather together the representatives of each justice ministry team so that all involved in this vital endeavor of bringing about the Beloved Community are in communication and working collaboratively. This is an opportune time to carry out this purpose, working together with the theme of alleviating food insecurity for the next three months – both on a practical level and with issue advocacy – inside and outside of our (virtual for now) church walls.
A recent piece in the Trenton Times details the challenges being faced by New Jersey’s food banks in trying to meet an unprecedented need for their assistance.
During this CFA meeting it became clear the need for all groups to work more closely together in order to maximize our impact on the food insecurity. What will our collaborative effort look like? Initially:
- The Food Ministry will continue to work out ways to provide meals to people, while following necessary safety protocols.
- The Faith Action Ministry, as part of UU the Vote, is providing opportunities for members of the UUCWC community to participate in postcard and letter writing campaigns urging people to complete the census and to register and vote this fall.
- The Food Ministry has allocated $2,000 from the Rollie Rahn Memorial Fund, $400 a month for five months, to donate to local organizations.
- The Faith Expression and Funding Team of CFA will coordinate with Food Ministry monies available for the rest of the church year to local organizations, both in Mercer and Bucks counties.
- The Food Ministry is also prepared, through the Caring Ministry, to finance efforts to assist members of our congregation who are facing food insecurity. A team will be meeting before the end of May to discuss this topic.
- Organizations identified so far include TASK, the Morrisville Food Center, Fisherman’s Mark, El Centro, and HomeFront. (And see the Food Ministry’s blog post on ways that you can help HomeFront help others.)
- Following the Unitarian Universalist Association’s lead, if you are receiving a stimulus check, please consider donating all or a portion of it to a local organization if you are able to do so.
- We are looking for your input! Do you know of local organizations doing good work around food insecurity? Let us know who they are and what they are doing. Or are there other ways we can put our time / talent / treasure to use? Let us know so we can share this information with our community.
- If you or a member of your family needs help, you can reach out the the Caring Ministry at firstname.lastname@example.org, a confidential email that can be read by only four people, each a trusted leader of our church.
You can get in touch with us at email@example.com for more information and to share your ideas and get involved. During this time, when we may all be feeling overwhelmed, we especially appreciate the opportunity to join in community and seek ways to Create Community, Celebrate Life, Change the World.