Churches across ABCUSA are at work serving as the hands and feet of Christ as they provide food for their neighbors in need. The ABCUSA Matthew 25 Grant has been able to help several of these strengthen their ministry:
Ballston Spa Baptist Church in Ballston Spa, New York, had an existing food pantry, Christ’s Cupboard. The church was able to keep the cupboard supplied with food, but had inadequate storage facilities. A grant from Matthew 25 was used to expand the storage area and bring climate controls into compliance with Federal and State regulations. Mark Hopper, Project Coordinator for the church, says, “This would not have been possible without the grant. We greatly appreciate this provision in order that we might have a greater opportunity to expand our service to our community.”
In Maquoketa, Iowa, the First Baptist Church works with other churches in the Maquoketa Ministerial Association to feed needy individuals through the Maquoketa Community Cupboard. While the church supports the effort through regular financial gifts and donations of food items, the Matthew 25 grant award allowed the shelves to be completely re-stocked. On just one day in December the Community Cupboard provided food to 423 people in 156 households.
First Baptist of Corning, New York, offers a free lunch program on the last Saturday of every month, as monthly benefits such as SNAP or Social Security are running low. An ABCUSA Matthew 25 grant has allowed the church to upgrade their menu offerings, and they are now serving a full hot meal. As excitement has built around the program, the church praise team has begun providing music for the meal, while the youth are helping with set up, service and clean up. The entire church family is enjoying the opportunity to serve as the hands and feet of Christ to their neighbors.
The Matthew 25 Grant, sponsored by ABCUSA, is funded by a generous donor whose goal is to help meet the needs of “housing, feeding, education and health with regard to the less fortunate.” Ministries must be in relationship with American Baptist Churches to be eligible to apply. Awards for the Matthew 25 grant are made twice a year, in April and October, with application deadlines of March 1 and September 1.