FAST FACT: Nationally, the percentage of poor and low-income elderly who are hungry as more than doubled in recent years, from 4.7% to 10%. In our 12 county region, an estimated 50,000 elderly are hungry and suffer from lasting and dire health-related side effects cause by poor nutrition. (Source: Christian Associates of Southwestern PA)
To combat this and other growing hunger-related problems, the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh has joined with the Southwestern Pennsylvania Food Security Partnership in an effort to reduce hunger by half in our 12-county region. In the months ahead the Social Justice and Outreach Committee (SJO) will make available to our parishes information and program ideas concerning hunger.
The SJO has launched "The Race Against Hunger." Starting in July and running through October, a friendly competition in the diocese will team parishes, grouped by district, to earn points for food donations, advocating awareness, volunteering with area support organizations, and other scoring opportunities. An outline of how points may be earned is available by clicking here.
The Red Team will be represented by parishes in Districts 1 (north) and 3 (south).
The Blue Team will be represented by parishes in Districts 2 (central) and 4 (east).
Many of our parishes and individuals already do heroic work reaching out to the hungry and poor. The SJO's objective is to build on that, to strengthen and enhance it, and to continue our journey toward realizing Christ's two greatest commandments from Matthew 22:37-39.
Resources to support The Race Against Hunger will be available on the diocesan web site at www.episcopalpgh.org/race. A bulletin insert introducing the campaign and outling the scoring is available by clicking here. The competition will continue until October 31, 2011 and the winning team will be honored at our Fall Diocesan Convention.
Every parish should have a coordinator for the Race Angainst Hunger to track points earned. If your parish does not have one, contact Jerry Stephenson, the SJO Race Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.