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Love into Action

UMCOR’S World Hunger /Poverty Program

by June H. Kim

	Children in Liberia benefit from the increased yield of food crops made possible by the programs of UMCOR's Sustainable Agriculture andDevelopment Program in West Africa.
Children in Liberia benefit from the increased yield of food crops made possible by the programs of UMCOR's Sustainable Agriculture andDevelopment Program in West Africa.
Image by: June H. Kim
Source: New World Outlook

Love into action

The World Hunger/Poverty Program has been an integral part of the United Methodist Committee on Relief’s (UMCOR) mission to enable United Methodist congregations to put love into action. More than 800 million people in the world go hungry every day. This fact is difficult to comprehend since we live in a world that has unparalleled wealth and food production capacity. It is not a question of whether there is enough food but a matter of accessibility and equal distribution to all people, regardless of their class, gender, geography, religion, earning power, or status.


The task of trying to resolve the problem of hunger and poverty is by no means simple. It involves many layers of socio-economic and political structures and systems that may be difficult to influence or control. As a church that follows the teachings of Wesley and Christ, we have a responsibility to share the blessings that God has bestowed upon us. We must also be of a mind to do this “sharing” in the spirit of sacrifice rather than

charity. Charity is giving out of one’s excess. Sacrifice is giving when we ourselves may not have enough.  As Christ sacrificed himself for us, so we must strive to follow his example.


The World Hunger/Poverty Program

UMCOR’s World Hunger/Poverty Program strategies develop and support integrated programs that emphasize:

·        Agriculture, rural development, and food security;

·        Stewardship of natural resources and the environment;

·        Education, training, and literacy;

·        Microcredit and enterprise development;

·        Urban agriculture;

·        Leadership development;

·        Supplemental food programs;

·        Advocacy to alleviate hunger and poverty;

·        The mobilization of resources through United Methodist connections;

·        Eradication of the root causes of hunger and poverty.



United Methodists can help alleviate hunger and poverty around the world by choosing to observe, participate in, and support hunger/poverty programs and activities through UMCOR and its partners.


Observe the Days:

World Food Day: October 16th

The United Nations passed the World Food Day resolution in 1979 to set an annual international observance. World Food Day brings people around the world together to focus on ending hunger and on the problems of food insecurity.


Want to Know More?




To order, go to


·        Feeding Minds, Fighting Hunger, a global education initiative available in 10 languages for grades K through 12.

·        Teleconference Study/Action Packet

·        Fighting Hunger Today, a film by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization.   Contact the World Food Department office or Michael Hage at



National Hunger Awareness Day:  June 5th

National Hunger Awareness Day, sponsored by America’s Second Harvest, was created in 2002. the events of September 11 contributed to a significant increase in the number of Americans who suddenly found themselves unable to feed their families. Hunger-relief organizations experienced a drop in food surplus and a decrease in charitable giving.


America’s Second Harvest and its network of more than 200 food banks and food-rescue organizations developed an aggressive plan of action. National Hunger Awareness Day, an effort to raise awareness and generate contributions, was one aspect of the plan. 


Want to Know More?


Go to:



Join Advocacy Organizations:

Bread for the World and Bread for the World Institute (Advance #982325-3)

Bread for the World (BFW) is a nationwide Christian citizens movement seeking justice for the world’s hungry people by lobbying the nation’s decision makers. United Methodists churches are encouraged to build a covenant partnership with BFW and observe BFW Sunday in the fall.


Want to Know More?


Go to

See the article in this issue, p. 8.




Agricultural Missions, Inc.  (Advance #982065-8)

Agricultural Missions, Inc. (AMI) is an ecumenical organization that accompanies rural peoples in their efforts to address the root causes of impoverishment and injustice in their communities. Since its founding in 1930, and as a longstanding partner with UMCOR, the organization has been a ministry striving to fulfill the Gospel’s promise of abundant life for all.


Agricultural Missions addresses “cutting edge” issues, such as land and agrarian reform, the rights of indigenous peoples, the rights of small and minority farmers in the United States, gender equity, sustainable use of natural resources, globalization and trade, and the use of biotechnology in agriculture.


Want to Know More?


An UMCOR/Agricultural Missions brochure can be requested through the GBGM Service Center, Stock #5572. Call 1-800-305-9857. For AMI, call: 212-870-2553.



Work for Hunger Programs

Souper Bowl of Caring

The Souper Bowl of Caring is a simple but significant youth- and young-adult-led effort to fight hunger and poverty. The Souper Bowl of Caring encourages people to give one dollar and/or a canned food item as they leave worship on Super Bowl Sunday. All collections are sent by the youth to the kitchen, food bank, or other hunger organization of their choice. In addition, the youths are encouraged to participate in a “Service Blitz,” in which they volunteer at a local food bank or charity in their neighborhood.


Since Souper Bowl’s inception, youth participants have generated a total of more than $16.6 million.


Want to Know More?


Go to




Foods Resource Bank (Advance #982493-1)

Foods Resource Bank (FRB) is modeled after the successful Canadian Foodgrains Bank and is a new “Christian response to world hunger.” FRB is a nongovernmental humanitarian organization that supports sustainable development programs which address food security.


Want to Know More?


See the article in this issue on p. 40.

Go to:




UMCOR Coffee Project

What kind of coffee is served in your church? Is it fairly traded coffee? The UMCOR Coffee Project is a partnership with a Fair Trade organization called Equal Exchange, whose products are 100 percent fairly traded (coffee, tea, cocoa products). Products that are “fairly traded” ensure that farmers and workers receive fair pay for their labor. For every order through the UMCOR Coffee Project, Equal Exchange contributes a portion of the proceeds back to UMCOR for programs of sustainable agriculture and empowerment.


Want to Know More?


See the article in this issue on p. 18.

Go to




Society of St. Andrew

The Society of St. Andrew (SoSA) is an ecumenical Christian ministry that feeds the hungry all year long by saving fresh produce that would otherwise go to waste and giving it to the needy. SoSA’s unique approach is the “Gleaning Network,” a project that coordinates volunteers, growers, and distribution agencies to salvage food for the needy. Each year, 35,000 volunteers from churches, synagogues, scout troops, senior-citizen groups, and other groups coordinated by Hunger Advocates participate in Society of St. Andrew gleaning activities. They salvage over 11 million pounds of produce for the poor.


Want to Know More?


Go to:




“Whose Birthday Is It Anyway?”/UMCOR Christmas Cards

“Whose Birthday Is It Anyway” is a great resource for people and congregations who are searching for deeper meaning in the Christmas holiday. Stories, games, Bible studies, and much more help you, your family, and your congregation to approach the Christmas holiday from a perspective of faith and spirituality. You will also find a “different kind of Christmas list,” which is designed to feed, heal, and educate and to spread the love that Christ brought to the world. United Methodist churches can purchase UMCOR Christmas cards as an alternative to ones purchased at a retail store. The proceeds support UMCOR.


Want to Know More?


·        Order Christmas cards by sending an e-mail to or calling 1-800-554–8583.

·        Order “Whose Birthday Is It Anyway” from the Service Center, 1-800-305-9857.




Support SA&D

UMCOR, through its Sustainable Agriculture & Development (SA&D) program, supports and implements sustainable agricultural projects directly, especially in West Africa. The SA&D program emphasizes farmer-to-farmer training, beekeeping, snail farming, and integrated pest-management practices. Many people affected by civil war are being empowered with new skills and technology to help them make their food sources secure. Support for this program can be channeled through Sustainable Agriculture, Advance #982188.


Want to Know More?


See "Shaping the lives of postwar farm families in West Africa,”  p. 26 of the NWO July-August issue.



Put Love Into Action

Through the various partners and projects of UMCOR’s World Hunger/Poverty program, United Methodists can become advocates, raising awareness for and being in partnership with those who are oppressed, poor, and hungry. Whether seeking out and purchasing fairly traded or organically grown products, using environmentally safe or recyclable items, wearing clothing that was not made with child labor, or writing letters to Congress, we, as faith-based consumers, have the power to influence the marketers, multinational corporations, and even our own government. Adhering to Christ’s call to serve one another, we recognize that the lifestyle choices we make every day can have an impact for better or for worse.




* June H. Kim is the executive secretary for World Hunger/Poverty and SA&D in UMCOR.



UMCOR works ecumenically in collaboration with many different organizations in its effort to fight hunger and poverty. United Methodists’ financial support of the World Hunger/ Poverty Advance (#982920-4) enables UMCOR to continue the work of this mission. in addition, increased participation by United Methodist churches in One Great Hour of Sharing is crucial for UMCOR’s continued growth and its effort to carry on the relief and development mission of The United Methodist Church.



See Also...
Topic: Health Hunger Poverty UMCOR
Geographic Region: World
Source: New World Outlook

Date posted: Jul 14, 2003