Every year at Awaken from this one forward, we will be using the Sunday of Easter to announce the missional focus at Awaken for the next 365 days. From the beginning of this year (Jan 1) our leadership team has been in prayer asking God to be very clear about what issue in our community could use the attention, potential energy and resources of Awaken.
As we prayed and met with people, it became very obvious that HUNGER was that issue for us this year. Here are some facts:
- In Twin City suburbs, the working poor make up 60 percent of foodshelf clients.
- In 2008, there were more than two million visits to Minnesota food shelves and food shelf usage continues to increase.
- Half of all food shelf visitors are children.
- 1 in 8 Minnesota children lives at risk of hunger.
- Children who suffer from poor nutrition during the brain’s most formative years score much lower on tests of vocabulary, reading comprehension, arithmetic and general knowledge.
- From 2008 to 2009, there was a 25 percent increase in food shelf visits in Minnesota — the largest recorded increase in 28 years.
- Neighbors Inc. in South St. Paul served over 8,800 people last year through their food shelf.
- Over half of them were kids.
- In the first quarter of this year, the number of people served at the food shelf is up 26%.
- 30,000lbs of food go out the door of Neighbors Inc. every month.
So “ONE THING” is the concerted effort of a small band of Jesus followers in a corner of God’s Kingdom working to bring shalom and justice into places and systems where it is absent or broken. Join us this week if you can, live or by PODCAST, to hear more about the journey to get where we are, as well as what specifically you can get involved in to put your mark on “ONE THING.”