Since its inception in 1976, the Diocesan Hunger Fund provided grants to programs that address food insecurity within the geographical area of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington. The money for those grants came from contributions made to the Hunger Fund from congregations and individuals across the diocese. For many years, the Hunger Fund served as one of EDOW’s primary outreach ministries. Yet over time, financial support for the Hunger Fund by churches and community members dwindled–while the number of church-based food pantries and meal programs increased, as our congregations have strived to be a blessing to their communities. The realization of this fundamental shift in how feeding ministries function within the diocese sparked a period of evaluation for the Hunger Fund Committee in 2022, and after much discernment, discussion, and consultation with Bishop Mariann, members of committee came to the hard decision to dissolve this arm of ministry in the diocese after a final grant cycle in early 2023.
Although figures from 1976 through 1985 are not available, in the 37 years from 1986 through June of 2022 we are thankful to report that $1,304.848.00 was provided to various programs. During its 46 years of existence, the Hunger Fund Committee of the Diocese worked diligently to help organizations in our diocese that provide direct aid to hungry people, a ministry only possible due to the contributions of churches and individuals of the diocese. Contributions came in many forms, from monetary donations to the gift of people’s time and effort, including the many volunteers who organized hunger walks and other activities at the church, region, and diocesan level; those who served on the committee over the years; and diocesan staff who supported the Committee’s efforts.
We believe there remains significant need to alleviate hunger in our area. We share here a list of some of the programs the Fund has supported over the years. Please consider redirecting your food security support to one of these ministries. We are grateful that our collective commitment to ending hunger holds strong in these new and continuing expressions of ministry.
St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church, Washington, DC Bread for Life program
St. George’s Episcopal Church, Washington, DC Kwanzaa Kitchen
St. Stephen & the Incarnation Church, Washington, DC Loaves and Fishes
St. Michael and All Angels, Adelphi, MD Free Community Dinner and Food Distribution
Christ Episcopal Church, Nanjemoy, MD Joe’s Place Food Pantry
Church of the Ascension, Lexington Park, MD Ascension Food Pantry
Calvary Episcopal Church, Washington, DC: Homeless Breakfast Ministry, Feeding My Lambs Ministry
St. Margaret’s, Washington, DC: Charlie’s Place
Christ Church, La Plata, MD Christ Church Food Pantry
Church of the Epiphany, Washington, DC The Welcome Table
Food for All, Washington, DC Home food delivery
Mid-County United Ministries, Silver Spring, MD Food Pantry and Mobile Food Pantry
Miriam’s Kitchen, Washington, DC Serves breakfast and dinner Monday-Friday
Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless, Rockville, MD Emergency Shelter meals program
Mt. Ennon Development Corp, Clinton, MD Mt. Ennon Food Pantry
Nourish Now, Rockville, MD Food distribution program
Our Place Waldorf, Waldorf, MD Dinner program
Reaching the World, Upper Marlboro, MD Food distribution
Shepherd’s Table, Silver Spring, MD Daily Meal program
St. Anne’s, Damascus, MD Food Pantry
St. Columba’s, Washington, DC Grate Patrol
St. George’s Glenn Dale, Glenn Dale, MD Warm Nights & other programs
St. John’s, Olney, MD Food Pantry
St. Paul’s, Waldorf, MD Soup Kitchen
St. Peter’s, Poolesville, MD Just Lunch program
Thrive, Washington, DC Breakfast & Lunch program, food pantry
Trinity Church, Upper Marlboro, MD Multiple food ministries
Trinity Church, Washington, DC Multiple food ministries
Wayside Food Bank, Newburg, MD Food pantry
We Are Family Senior Outreach, Washington, DC Multiple food delivery programs
History of the Hunger Fund
In 1976 a Diocesan Task Force on World Hunger was created at Diocesan Convention to provide a consolidated vehicle for congregations in the diocese to work toward the alleviate of world hunger. The following year at Convention, the task force recommended that a permanent Hunger Fund be established that would be supported by contributions from congregations in the Diocese. Originally the reach of the Fund was intended to be global, but over time its mission was refined to assisting organizations within the diocese providing food to the hungry in this area.
The fund was supported through contributions made by congregations and individuals throughout the diocese. One popular and fondly remembered fundraiser were the annual Hunger walks which started in 1980. Originally an activity of churches in Montgomery County, they spread to the whole diocese by 2002 and included locations that ranged from Sligo Creek Park in Silver Spring to Serenity Farm in Benedict, Maryland to the grounds of Washington National Cathedral. The Hunger Walks attracted families and individuals of all ages – and not a few dogs and strollers! The COVID-19 pandemic marked the end of the Hunger Walks.
The Hunger Fund spearheaded a food drive at the 2020 Diocesan Convention to benefit the Capital Area Food Bank that netted 1,417 pounds of food and raised $3411,95.