For I was Hungry: The Hunger Fund

by | Aug 13, 2015

The Diocesan Hunger Fund was established in the mid-1970s under Bishop John Walker. The purpose of the fund was to provide financial assistance to organizations combating hunger. This was just  one manifestation of the desire to demonstrate the message of compassion and unity with all of God’s children.  

The fund is not included in the Diocesan budget.  The fund does benefit from excellent administrative support from Diocesan staff, but no direct funding.  All funding comes from parishes in the Diocese, either through monthly or periodic collections for the fund, special events where the proceeds are given to the fund (such as periodic jazz vespers at Christ Church, Rockville), and through the annual Diocesan Hunger Walk.  All funds received go directly to the organizations providing food, in the form of meals and/or groceries.  No funds go to any administrative costs.

So, does it work?   Well, the organizations that receive funding have not yet been able to remove all hunger in our Diocese.   On the other hand, the funding that they receive goes a long way in their efforts.  That’s what they tell us.

“Your support is vitally important to our program, and deeply appreciated.”- Barbara Wille, on behalf of Charlie’s Place at St. Margaret’s, DC

“Approximately 4500 large bags of groceries were distributed.” –  Joan A. Shoemaker, on behalf of the Food Pantry at Christ Church, Port Tobacco Parish

“The Hunger Fund grant has had a tremendous impact on our dinner and grocery distribution program.” – Debbie D. Gibbs, on behalf of the Free Community Dinner and Food Distribution Program at St. Michael and all Angels

“With the help of the Hunger Fund of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, Thrive DC was able to serve 130,671 nutritious meals in 2014.” – Alicia Horton, on behalf of Thrive DC

That’s it.  The problem of hunger is not gone, but the Fund does help alleviate it for at least some of our brothers and sisters in the Diocese. 


A mailing will go out in the next couple of weeks to each church in the Diocese, letting you know that the annual Diocesan Hunger Walk will be held on Sunday, October 18, and asking you to guide your church into participating.

It’s coming up, October 18 – Sunday afternoon at 1:30 – at 2 locations in the Diocese.  One will be at Lake Needwood in the Rockville area, and the other will be at Serenity Farm in the Benedict/Hughesville area.

If you can’t  participate in one of the Walks, we invite you to support the Fund either through your church, or on your own.  If your church has a program such as a monthly collection for the Fund, all contributions are greatly appreciated.  If your church does not currently include the Fund in its ministries, we invite you to consider starting a program.   Even one dollar a month from each of your fellow congregants would go a long way to feeding someone who is in need.

The website,, includes information on the upcoming Walks, and how to get involved (which is not hard or complicated).  There is also information on how your church can support the Fund, and there is a link to online giving for individual contributions.

Thanks for anything and everything you can do.  

Lee Mericle is chair of the Hunger Fund Committee of the Diocese of Washington