Guest Post by Pastor Mark Anderson, Assistant to the Bishop

A man from our synod works hard ­— full time as a farm laborer or what some would call a hired hand — on a nearby farm. His wife stays home with their six children, plus the two they have taken in.

They live much more modestly than most Iowans, but often the ends just don’t meet for this family.

They are not alone.

In Butler County, for example, 14 percent of women over age 75 and 12 percent of children live in poverty.

Local food shelves help, but they often have set hours that frustrate people who have jobs, or they require an application process, which some people find humiliating.

Photo courtesy of Signe Anderson

The Northeastern Iowa Synod has made it possible for 10 congregations to establish a “Little Food Pantry” on each of their properties.

These are publicly accessible cupboards where people can “take what you need, leave what you can.” The food and personal hygiene items are available 24 hours, seven days a week to take without embarrassment.

The synod was able to give the congregations six pantry boxes that were built during “God’s work. Our hands” day, and the other congregations received the plans and materials to build their own.

The goal is for the little pantries to help alleviate hunger and to provide a visible witness that, in the name of Jesus, Lutherans care about everyone in their communities.

If an average of three families with three members each uses every pantry once a week, 4,680 people will be fed. This is just one of the many ministries the Northeastern Iowa Synod has made possible by your gift to the annual fund.

Please join me by making a gift to the Northeastern Iowa Synod as we make Christ known by strengthening the witness and service of the whole church.

Mail checks to the following address:
Northeastern Iowa Synod
201 20th St. SW
PO Box 804
Waverly, IA 50677-0804

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About The Rev. Dr. Joelle Colville-Hanson

The Rev. Dr. Joelle Colville-Hanson has been Director for Evangelical Mission, ELCA for the Northeastern Iowa Synod since late 2013. Part of her job description is to help leaders and congregations use social media and other digital means for outreach and mission. She writes and edits this blog as well as runs the social media accounts for the synod.

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