The national need for emergency food is up 50 percent from before the pandemic and shows no sign of changing. That’s heartbreaking as we near Christmas.
The good news is that this challenge is something everyone can help with.
Souper Bowl of Caring is a beloved national Christian organization that has been encouraging churches and groups to support local food charities for over thirty years. The name comes from the inspiration of the “big game” as the founder dreamed of millions of fans giving a dollar or a can of soup. Since then, they’ve helped groups raise over $170 million to support their local food pantries.
When COVID struck, the federal government was looking for a way to avert a food-related national security threat and turned to Souper Bowl of Caring. Together, they developed what is now called the Tackle Hunger Map. This allows anyone to see the current status of emergency food supply across the country and in our backyard.
Souper Bowl of Caring is based in the Dallas area, and, according to Executive Director Alison Reese, only 1.4 percent of our local food charities have what they need to meet the demand. That’s understandable given the impact the pandemic has had on families’ economic situations, inflation, and supply chain issues.
No matter where you live and what your own financial situation is, you can help by doing one of the following:
- Raise awareness of the Tackle Hunger Map.
- Use the map to find nearby food charities and donate to them right there on the map.
- Look at the charities’ needs on their website and go shopping as a family or small group.
- Use these materials to plan a food drive in your neighborhood, school, office, or church.
The Bible makes it clear throughout that God wants us to care for our neighbors who find themselves in a place of need.
Isaiah 58:10 says, “If you give what you have to the hungry, and fill the needs of those who suffer, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your darkness will be like the brightest time of day.”
Then there’s the famous quote from Jesus, “For I was hungry and you gave me food to eat” (Matthew 25:35).
What better time of year to be thinking about this?
“Local food charities are always in need and can use a champion. Christians and their churches should be their champions,” says Reese.
Unite DFW is a Dallas-based nonprofit that is informing, connecting, and equipping churches and other organizations to care for their people and community. Our vision is holistic flourishing – physical, emotional, relational, vocational, financial, and spiritual – and we have local, national, and global partners and tools to help leaders and individuals address all of the above. If you’re in the DFW area, visit www.unite-dfw.org to see how you can give help or get help. If you live somewhere else, God has likely raised up an organization like Unite in your city!