hunger-free-alexandria-logoweb.jpgFor I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.     Matthew 25:35

Christ Church parishioners are actively feeding many in the Alexandria community each month with food and hospitality. In August, 184 people visited the Lazarus Food Pantry and received food to feed themselves and their families totaling 587 people. On August 1 and August 18, parishioners from Christ Church cooked and served meals to individuals and families living at the Carpenter’s Shelter. On Wednesday, August 20, volunteers served Meals of Wheels and helped feed those in our community who are home-bound. On Thursday, August 21, volunteers from Christ Church hauled hundreds of pounds of prizes into the Ladrey Senior High Rise for monthly bingo night. More than forty seniors enjoyed a snack, bingo, and prizes in the form of fresh produce, canned goods, household supplies, and frozen meat. The week of August 25, members of Christ Church met daily to make 325 brown bag lunches to be delivered to Meade Memorial Church. Our Outreach to the community is a blessing to those whom we serve and to those who serve. We are now part of a broader initiative that aims to tackle hunger as a city-wide community.

A new campaign called Hunger Free Alexandria has been created in response to a report by the Partnership for a Healthier Alexandria that shows the problem of hunger in the city is wider than many churches and non-profits expected. The campaign is a partnership in city between congregations, ALIVE!, ACT Alexandria, Northern Virginia Health Foundation, Alexandria Department of Community and Human Services, Alexandria Health Department, and other non-profits. The report states, “The bottom line is that thousands of Alexandrians, perhaps as many as one in five, live in households struggling to make ends meet. Unfortunately, when it comes to deciding what bills to pay, some of these families are forced to reduce what they spend on food. This, in turn, increases the probability that the household is food insecure, bringing with it the risk of negative health and developmental outcomes.”

On September 21, a number of churches across the city are preaching on hunger to build awareness about the issue! Congregations are also making commitments to help alleviate hunger. There will then be a city-wide event 12:30 – 2:30 p.m. on September 21 in which churches will come together to celebrate their commitments for hunger, featuring live music, moon-bounce, and food trucks (the food trucks will donate a portion of proceeds to alleviating hunger in the city). The event will be hosted on the lawn of Fairlington Presbyterian Church.

At Christ Church on Sunday, September 21, Bread for the World Sunday, the Rev. David Beckmann, President of Bread for the World will preach at 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. services. Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decision makers to end hunger at home and around the world by changing policies, programs, and conditions that allow hunger and poverty to persist. Christ Church is closely associated with Bread for the World. This organization has played a major role in tripling both poverty-focused development assistance and domestic nutrition assistance over the past decade.