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Evangelical Lutheran Church in America: Hunger Grants Program

Deadline: June 30, 2017

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) World Hunger-funded Domestic Hunger Grants Program supports ministries that offer hope and assistance to many thousands of people who experience poverty and hunger in the United States. These grants do more than just give food to people who are hungry – in addition to immediate relief programs, ELCA World Hunger Domestic Hunger Grants fund projects in advocacy, community development, community-based organizing, and relief that strengthen the foundations of communities affected by hunger and poverty.

ECLA World Hunger Grant objectives are:

  • To provide relief and development assistance for those who suffer from hunger and injustices related to hunger in this and other countries and maintain a disaster fund for response to international and domestic emergencies
  • To foster the education of the members of this church to understand and confront the reality and underlying causes of hunger
  • To advocate policies and actions for social and economic justice relating to hunger – with governments, business institutions, and structures of the church and its related agencies
  • To encourage members of the church to practice responsible stewardship of their lives and their financial resources toward the prevention and alleviation of hunger
  • To facilitate listening to and working together with those who have special awareness of the realities of food and hunger, including poor and hungry people in local and global communities and those who produce, process, and distribute food

Activities supported by the ELCA World Hunger Program will relate to one or a combination of the Program’s five objectives. Priority is given to persons living in poverty, with special focus on: 1) people with the least resources for meeting their basic needs; and 2) women and children at risk. Activities should relate to one or a combination of the following program areas:

  • Relief: Efforts provide immediate access to food, shelter, clothing, medical supplies and care, and the means to deliver and sustain these (transport, storage, supplies, etc.) to meet the basic needs of people.
  • Sustainable development: Efforts leads to increased access to food and sustainable livelihoods through means such as sustainable agriculture, appropriate technology, adequate housing, jobs, primary health care and disease prevention, job training, child care, elder care, nutrition education, literacy training, sanitation, safe water supplies, below-market loans, and just land use and distribution.
  • Community organizing: Activities that bring men and women with common values, complementary interests, and shared concerns together to build and maintain an environment that empowers all persons to obtain justice, affirm their dignity, and gain access to the goods of the earth. Where possible, these activities are congregation-based and help to overcome the irresponsible use of power in economic, social, and political arenas through a process that demonstrates a deep respect for the rule of law and democratic principles.
  • Education: Efforts recognize the abundance of God’s creation and addresses the causes, cures, and elimination of hunger and poverty; highlight the importance of lifestyle stewardship; engage the Church’s members; and empower synods, congregations, affiliated ministries, and ecumenical partners to act through a variety of learning opportunities.
  • Advocacy: Activities that work to overcome the effects and root causes of hunger and poverty through administrative, legislative, and judicial actions in the public sphere, and through corporate actions in the private sphere.

Amount: The Rocky Mountain Synod (ELCA entity that geographically includes New Mexico) awarded $231,599 through the program in 2016. Grants range from $1,000-$3,000.

Eligibility: ELCA congregations, social ministry organizations, and community-based nonprofits working to address poverty, hunger, and related social justice issues. Applicants are required to submit at least two letters of support, as follows:

  • ELCA entities (e.g., congregations, synods, seminaries, colleges, social ministries, affiliated agencies and institutions) must submit at least 2 letters of support from organizations with which they partner.
  • Non-Lutheran organizations will submit at least two letters of support from an ELCA congregation, the Synod, or another ELCA entity within the community (e.g., one letter from an ELCA congregation, and one from the Synod).

Link: http://www.elca.org/domestichungergrants

Note: Funds are expended in the range of 25-30% within the territorial jurisdiction of the church and 70-75% in the other parts of the world. New Mexico is located within the Rocky Mountain Synod, which also includes Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah. The Synod’s grantmaking activities prioritize Colorado where the majority of the synods are located. See website for more details: https://www.rmselca.org/about-us

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