Hunger

More than 820 million people — that’s 11% of people in our world today — are hungry.

As members of the ELCA, we are called to respond. We are a church that rolls up our sleeves and gets to work.

Working domestically with and through individuals and our congregations, in the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and internationally with over 60 Lutheran churches overseas and other partners, ELCA World Hunger is uniquely positioned to reach communities in need.

From health clinics to microloans, water wells to animal husbandry, community meals to advocacy, your gifts to ELCA World Hunger make it possible for the ELCA to respond, supporting sustainable solutions that get at the root causes of hunger and poverty. In 2019, gifts to ELCA World Hunger were $23.4 million. Our Northern Illinois Synod contributed $411,000 to this total.  Learn More.

Hunger facts

  • 821 million people around the world – that’s more than 1 in 10 – are chronically hungry and cannot lead active daily lives. [1]
  • 736 million people live in extreme poverty on less than $1.90 per day. [2]
  • In the United States, more than 40 million people do not know where their next meal will come from. [3]
  • 39.7 million Americans are living in poverty. [4]

Domestic Hunger Grants

ELCA World Hunger provides Domestic Hunger Grants in order to accompany congregations and their partners throughout the United States and Caribbean as they draw on the strengths of communities to address local issues such as food security, clean water, housing, job readiness, human rights, policy change, leadership development and more. Together, these ministries are part of a comprehensive approach to breaking the cycle of poverty and hunger — for good.

  • Awards are for a three-year cycle, with a maximum award of $10,000 per year, contingent upon fund availability and the completion of annual evaluations.
  • New applications are accepted annually. The application period typically opens in spring.  More information.

Northern Illinois Synod Domestic Hunger Grant Recipients:

2019-2021

Christian Care, Rock Island

Christian Care, a nonprofit organization in Rock Island, was awarded $5,000 in 2019, 2020, and 2021 to support their on-site meal programs for families and increase their on-site vegetable garden production.  Christian Care provides safe shelter, support, resources, and meals for the homeless and those in need in the Quad Cities. 

2020-2022

Rockford Area Lutheran Ministries (RALM), Rockford

Rockford Area Lutheran Ministries is a collaboration of 21 Lutheran congregations and 11 Lutheran partner ministries in the Rockford area that celebrate being One Church, One Body doing God’s work with our hands. We join together to do what one congregation cannot do on its own.


Daily Bread Matching Grants

ELCA World Hunger Daily Bread Matching Grants support congregations and their partners as they work toward a just world where all are fed. ELCA congregations with feeding ministries are eligible to participate.

As part of the ELCA’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, ELCA World Hunger Daily Bread Matching Grants of $500 were made available to congregations on a first-come, first-served basis in the spring of 2020 as they provide daily bread for neighbors in need.  Additional grants may be available in the fall of 2020.  Visit ELCA.org/dailybread to learn more.

Northern Illinois Synod Daily Bread Matching Grant Recipients:

2020, Spring

  • Little Food Pantry, Grace Lutheran Church, Knoxville
  • Northern Illinois Helping Hands Food Pantry, Joyful Harvest Church, Johnsburg
  • Wonder Lake Neighbors Food Pantry, Nativity Lutheran Church, Wonder Lake
  • St. John Lutheran Church Food Pantry, Joliet
  • Little Free Pantry, St John’s Lutheran Church, Rock Island
  • Food Trucks (Northern Illinois Food Bank), Zion Lutheran Church, Belvidere

World Hunger Resources

Resources for World Hunger Sunday

ELCA World Hunger Blog

  • by ELCA World Hunger
      Action “They are working together, united, to show the country and the world that this is the way to fight for peace.” Thus far this Lent, we have heard stories of God working through this church, our companions and our neighbors to end hunger. We have heard stories from India, Wisconsin and Washington, D.C., […]
  • by ELCA World Hunger
    Investment “[The vision is] that we get to invest money in our families and in our community.” The first reading for this fourth week of Lent is from the book of Numbers. The people have been on their exodus from Egypt to the Promised Land for years, and the goal is nigh. They have received […]
  • by ELCA World Hunger
    Justice “The direct service of providing filter pitchers and the organizing work of bringing demands to our alderpersons, health department and mayor all lead us back to the font, where we stand with people at the holy water that makes us God’s children and sends us out to serve God’s justice.”   If we don’t […]
  • by ELCA World Hunger
    Honesty “For [God] did not despise or abhor the affliction of the afflicted; [God] did not hide [God’s] face from me, but heard when I cried” (Psalm 22:24).   When Kamini Dhurvey was just a child, her mother died and her father remarried. Her stepmother abused Kamini, and her father did not step in to […]
  • by ELCA World Hunger
      We are excited to introduce the four recipients of ELCA World Hunger Big Dream Grants for 2021! ELCA World Hunger’s Big Dream grants, one-time gifts of $10,000 to $75,000, support ministries in the United States and Caribbean as they pursue innovative and sustainable approaches to ending hunger. Together, we celebrate the ways God is […]