The Mission Outreach Committee strives to spread the word of God by promoting and supporting opportunities for mission through education, personal service, and financial support in order to positively impact the lives of others.
Our July Mission Focus is Kids Meal Network
Each summer, thousands of children in our region are wondering where their next meal will come from. Gone is the security of school breakfasts and lunches. To tackle this issue, Kids Meal Network (KMN) sponsors nutritious meals in partnership with local providers such as churches. KMN brings food to the most needy neighborhoods, where >50% of the children suffer from food insecurity. In previous years, the children would eat the meals in ‘congregate’ fashion, staying at the KMN site until they were finished then moving on to activities, reading with a volunteer, recreational fun, etc. In 2020, the pandemic threw us for a loop and eliminated congregate feeding in favor of non-congregate/grab-n-go feeding. Children were sent home en masse in mid-March, leaving schools to scramble to distribute food. It became apparent that (even with school food distribution) not all children were being reached by the schools. So, through a series of waivers, Summer Food Sponsors, like KMN, were able to open their programs early to fill the gap.
KMN opened May 11 (1 month early) with two sites operational and has continued opening sites as fast as we are able… with 19 sites open and 2 additional potential locations. Northview Heights is our largest distribution location for summer food. We serve about 120 meals/ day from the former Church of Our Saviour UMC location. We have adjusted our training for the grab-n-go model and are working on sending activities and books that the kiddos can do at home. We also partner with 2 large churches from the South Hills and provide additional food bags for the weekends. We are planning to send out an art project to kids at our northside locations during the month of July – working with a local artist to design and execute the project.
Here are some ways that you can help:
- Donate new books suitable for kids grades K-6.
- Donate peanut butter and jelly which we will make available to families at our sites.
- Give your time – volunteer to help at one of our sites. Volunteers not only help distribute food but can also be there to receive food, help clean up, distribute special materials, etc.
- Donate money to this ministry using IConnect, Give+, or text an amount to 412-504-7798 using the code “kidsmeal” You can also donate via our Facebook page (United Methodist Church Union), our webpage (www.churchunion.org) or via mail (UM Church Union, PO Box 100086, Pittsburgh, PA 15233).
- Artistic/Crafty folks can help us create take-home arts and crafts projects. We need their brilliant minds to supplement our thoughts!
- Help with distribution of supplies, etc.
Donations from Ingomar Church can be placed in box labeled ‘Kids Meal Network’ located outside the Community Life Building- Entrance A. To volunteer, please contact Cheri Pogue, [email protected], 412-231-4900.
Through the Mission Outreach Committee, Ingomar Church disburses approximately $98,000 annually to domestic and foreign Missions, including Mission scholarships. Funding comes from the Church Operating Budget, the Rummage Sale, the sale of Giant Eagle cards at church, and proceeds from Amazon Smile, as well as from the generous donations from our congregation.
Information about the agencies can be found in the Monthly News Brief, the Mission Focus videos, and on the church website. Our goal is to keep the congregation informed about the different missions we support and to provide opportunities for hands on experiences for all ages.
If you would like more information about Missions, please feel free to email our committee at [email protected]. A member of the committee will be happy to speak with you or your small group. We always welcome new ideas and new committee members and we would love to have you join us!
You can give to our Mission Outreach ministry using IConnect, Give+, or text an amount to 412-504-7798 using the code “missions” – example: $100 missions.