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
      It’s hard to overstate the impact COVID-19 has had on our communities and our worship experiences. Summer 2020 has begun with a great deal of uncertainty – about our health, the health and well-being of our neighbors, jobs and more. But these past few months have revealed in surprising ways what we have known […]
  • by ELCA World Hunger
      These reflections are a part of ELCA World Hunger’s Sermon Starter series which is published via email every Monday. You can sign up for the weekly email here on the right side of the page if on a computer or near the bottom of the page if viewing from a phone. This reflection was […]
  • by ELCA World Hunger
      For many of our neighbors, the economic consequences of the pandemic has thrust them into the sometimes-confusing world of applications, documentation and eligibility requirements that make up our public assistance programs here in the United States. The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) increased funding and broadened eligibility to many […]
  • by Ryan P. Cumming
      Since 2015, undernourishment around the world has been on the rise, after years of decline. In the latest estimates from the United Nations, more than 820 million people are undernourished. Even as we face the clear and present threat of coronavirus, we need to remain aware of the ongoing, persistent threat of hunger around […]
  • by ELCA World Hunger
      Ending hunger goes beyond providing calories. The ministry of ELCA World Hunger and the work we support together is about recognizing the significance of food and the ways it can bring us together with one another, with God, and with all of creation. In the sacrament Christ initiated on Maundy Thursday, we glimpse what […]