First Baptist Church of Camp Springs, MD, was awarded a $1,000 Matthew 25 Grant from American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA) to provide two meals and a snack for more than 100 children during days when the youngsters did not have access to free or reduced-cost meals.
The congregation is located about 15 miles from Washington, DC. Joint Base Andrews, home of Air Force 1, the U.S. President’s aircraft, is nearby and many residents have federal jobs, which spurred original development of the community. “Our community and church membership are diverse in race and social economics,” explains Nancy Ernest, who reported on the food initiative.
“We are an aging congregation and this project of packing meals for school children fit our activity level perfectly,” Ernest says. “Food insecurity for elementary school children located in our area is an issue.” The Matthew 25 Grant enabled First Church volunteers to purchase food for eight breakfasts, eight lunches and eight snacks for the more than 100 children during four days this past winter when the children had no access to free or reduced cost meals.
“During distribution of the meal packages at the nearby elementary school, a grandparent of one of the students came by looking for a package,” Ernest says. “He indicated that his grandchild was absent from school that day but the family members have come to depend on these meals to manage through the weekend. So, we know we are meeting a need. We are very thankful for the Grant!”
The Matthew 25 Grant initiative, sponsored by ABCUSA and the Board of General Ministries, is funded by a generous, anonymous donor whose goal is to meet the needs of “housing, feeding, education and health with regard to the less fortunate.” The application process for a Matthew 25 Grant is structured to help small ministries with limited staff time. For more information on the grant and application process visit www.abc-usa.org/matthew25