Disasters around U-S could hurt holiday food distribution outreach

By November 15, 2005

USA (MNN) — Hurricanes, tsunamis and earthquakes have all taken their toll on not only victims, but also donations to humanitarian relief efforts. While assistance to victims involved in the natural disasters seem to be well funded, funding for on-going work like feeding the poor and homeless in the United States is falling behind.

Here’s Life Inner City is just one organization that’s feeling the effects. Here’s Life’s Ted Gandy says, “Many people were very generous in the fall with Katrina and some of the other disasters overseas, so our funding is down at this point around 30-percent.”

According to Gandy, this is no time for donations to be down because this directly impacts their “Box of Love” holiday food distribution. A “Box of Love” provides a holiday meal for a family of six and Gandy says the need is great this year. “We’re working with 550 different churches and organizations and they have identified 29,000 families they wanted to serve. So, our goal is to actually raise the funds for 29,000 boxes, which would translate to around 170,000 people.”

While many suggest the lower funding is a result of people giving more to the needy in the hurricane zone, Gandy says however, “It’s ironic because this year, many of the boxes are actually slated to go to Katrina evacuees. Many of the poor still have not gone back to those areas.”

A donation of 37-dollars funds an entire ‘Box of Love’ that also included God’s word that Gandy says can minister to families. “Our ministries are committed not just for a one shot deal. This is to establish a connection, a relationship that can then be followed up inviting them to the church, building a relationship, finding out what their needs are.”

Gandy is encouraging churches to take an offering this weekend. An offering of $2,000 can provide 54 meals to needy families. Pray that God will move in many hearts to give and respond to God’s call to salvation.

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