12 Ways to Connect With the Poor
By • 06/12/2012
Steve Sjogren: "How can we obey God if we aren’t connecting with the poor on a regular basis? We can’t. Something needs to change."
4. Sponsor a Child in a Feeding Program
It is great to connect with feeding programs like World Vision. Don’t let up in that regard. On the other hand, realize it is not enough to simply give to a distant need. God wants our more direct involvement.
5. Feed People
Connect with a feeding program. The Salvation Army is a good place to begin. You will be changed as you feed people at a soup kitchen.
6. Deliver Groceries
Good news travels fast. It is possible that you will run into more and more people who need food. As people call in for help with food, put their address and phone number on a map. Set out bags of groceries near your front door. Encourage people to go in twos to deliver the food to the location listed. When you get there, offer a prayer for the specific needs of the people present.
7. Start a Pantry. You Can Do It!
You might be surprised at how easy it is to launch a pantry connected with your church. The need of today is feeding opportunities. You don’t have to read very far in the daily newspapers to figure out that a lot of people are in great need of food.
You will need some real estate to house this. It could be as simple as a garage. It could be space at your church.
Connect with a larger area food bank. They are all about helping start food pantries.
I encourage you to stay pretty basic for a while with your pantry. You need to do what you are doing with enthusiasm and excellence. The temptation will be to try your hand at something additional other than feeding people. At a later point, that might be a good idea, but to begin with, stick to giving people bags of groceries.
Sit down and work on the central goals of your pantry. Who are you helping? How are you helping them? What DON’T you do in all of this? (This is a very important question. You will be tempted to do things for people that are not a part of your aim. Doing so will end up depleting your energy and could cause some to want to quit.)
Define yourselves as a pantry that feeds people for the days when they don’t have food provided for them by other feeding programs. People who receive governmental funds—or are on a limited budget—typically have enough food to last about 28 days. That’s a couple of days short of a month. If you could provide food for those days when they aren’t cared for, you will be doing something great.