The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is partnering with Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, and Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray in declaring Sept. 29 as a regional Day to Serve focused on feeding the hungry; and they are inviting all faith-based organizations, community groups, civic organizations, and citizens to join them in this unprecedented regional event.
According to a national hunger survey by Hart Research Associates, one in four Americans indicated they are worried about having enough money to put food on the table. Virginia’s 11.8 percent food insecurity rate means that more than 912,790 people don’t know where their next meal will come from. More than 218,000 children and teens in Virginia face hunger, and studies have shown that during the summer, children are at an even higher risk for both hunger and obesity because they lose access to regular, nutritious school meals.
“There’s precious little agreement on too many policy issues in Washington and state capitals, but we can all agree that the fight against hunger is an important one. … I thank the LDS Church for bringing together these regional partners to make a real difference on the issue of hunger,” McDonnell said.
The LDS Church will donate semi-truckloads of food totaling more than $200,000 to food banks recommended by the governors and the mayor for this regional Day to Serve and encourages other faith-based organizations to join them and offer similar contributions. In addition, the 150,000 local church members in 317 congregations in this area will reach out to local pantries to provide further support. These activities will take place in the month of September, which is Hunger Action Month, and will culminate in major food collection efforts on Saturday, Sept. 29.
The major food organization partners for this event include Capital Area Food Bank in Washington, D.C., Maryland Food Bank, the Federation of Virginia Food Banks, and Mountaineer Food Bank and Huntington Area Food Bank in West Virginia.
“In such uncertain times, there are many who have serious, unmet needs. We feel fortunate in being able to help with this wonderful project of helping restock local food pantries and of helping give service to the hungry and homeless. We invite our companion service organizations and anyone else who can to share in the joy of helping others on this Regional Day of Service,” said W. Hal Cragun, president of the Roanoke, Va., stake.
As local projects are organized and identified, they will be added to daytoserve.org ,where anyone who is interested can locate a project in their community and volunteer to help. The official proclamation of Sept. 29 as a Day to Serve can be found by clicking here.
– Submitted by Paul Rucker, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints