[MICHIGAN] The Episcopal Diocese of Michigan will award $220,000 to Michigan Food Banks to help them respond to the growing need for access to food caused by the COVID-19 virus. Inspired by their desire to help feed the millions of Michiganders who now must rely on food pantries, hundreds of Episcopalians throughout Michigan helped the Diocese exceed its initial goal to raise $200,000. Just over a month after the Rt. Rev. Dr. Bonnie A. Perry was consecrated as the 11th Bishop, the coronavirus began spreading and Michigan became a national hot spot.
Moved by reports of historically high demand at local food pantries and soup kitchens, Perry called on the people of the Diocese of Michigan to respond by putting their faith into action. The diocese combined money from a fund established in 1940 to assist people with tuberculosis, with gifts from All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Pontiac and Christ Church Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills to create a $100,000 fund, and challenged people in the 76 congregations throughout the diocese to match it.
“With more than a million unemployed in our state, people from all areas of life: rural communities, suburbs, and cities, are finding it difficult to feed their families,” Perry said, “Hunger is real and hunger is debilitating. As people of faith, we want to answer Jesus’ call to ‘feed the hungry’. In the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan, we care about our communities and we act when we see a need. That’s how we live out our faith.”
Three weeks after announcing the challenge, more than 450 individuals and many congregations responded. Donations have come from throughout the state as well as around the country.
The money will be given to several of the major food bank distributors that supply food programs in all eleven counties where the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan has congregations.
“For 30 years Forgotten Harvest has been feeding metro Detroit’s hungry. This pandemic has caused many people, possibly for the first time, to require additional help.” states Kirk Mayes, CEO Forgotten Harvest. “We have been filling this additional need through our normal pantry locations and by adding Forgotten Harvest On The Go Mobile Pantry distribution sites. We are proud to partner with the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan, these donated funds will help support our distribution efforts and our continuing mission of distributing fresh nutritious food free-of-charge to metro Detroiter’s in need.”
“The COVID-19 virus has laid bare the disparities of our communities,” says Perry. “Raising $220,000 to help our neighbors have enough food, is one way for the people of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan to begin to address these disparities.” If you would like to make a contribution, you can donate at edomi.org/covid19relief.
About The Episcopal Diocese of Michigan
The Episcopal Diocese of Michigan was established in 1836 and is comprised of 76 congregations and more than 16,000 baptized members. The Rt. Rev. Dr. Bonnie A. Perry was ordained and consecrated as the 11th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan on February 8, 2020. Perry is the first woman bishop as well as the first lesbian bishop in the diocese since its formation.