Americans “Box Out” hunger for the poor this holiday season.

By November 17, 2006

USA (MNN)–Poverty often serves as a depressing foil against the backdrop of the holidays.

Here’s Life Inner City’s Ted Gandy says this weekend, volunteers are assembling more than 18-thousand ‘Boxes of Love’ for distribution in 20 cities in the U-S.

Each box holds the ingredients for a full classic holiday meal for a family of six. The boxes are filled with turkey or ham, stuffing, potatoes, canned vegetables, bread, juice, and desserts, as well as faith-based reading materials.

“It’s designed, not for the homeless, but for the working poor, the people who are struggling, but have a place to cook a meal.” He says it’s not unusual for a needy family like this to stretch such a meal out for up to four days.

That means the impact of this program keeps growing. This year, more than 111,300 of the U-S poor will have a special reason to give ‘thanks’. “It’s been a wonderful program all these years because it gives churches an opportunity to reach out people who are struggling in their communities.”

Gandy says this outreach makes personal connections for the church and future evangelism. “Often, this is the first touchpoint with a family. They can then begin working with them on a regular basis, get the kids in an after-school program, help the parent if they don’t have jobs, or if they’re under-employed. It’s our whole concept of ‘Connect, Empower, Develop.'”

HLIC partners with more than 1,000 inner-city churches and organizations to reach out to America’s poor with the resources they need not only to survive, but also to succeed and overcome the challenges of poverty.

Gandy says there’s still time to sponsor a box for the American Thanksgiving holiday or Christmas.

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