The last few years have witnessed world-changing events that have disrupted supply chains and limited access to food for many people. Southern Baptists will, on Aug. 28, recognize Global Hunger Sunday to raise support for those in need.
A 2021 report released by agencies associated with the United Nations stated that 2.3 billion people faced moderate to severe challenges to obtaining enough food to eat, with the total population facing severe insecurity climbing to an estimated 924 million.
“Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen world events impact food supplies. First, it was the COVID pandemic, then the war in Ukraine hindered access to their wheat harvest,” said Bryant Wright, president of Send Relief, the compassion ministry arm of Southern Baptists.
According to a report from NPR, Ukraine and Russia, together, account for a third of the world’s wheat and barley exports while Russia and Belarus are numbers two and three on the world’s list of producers of a key ingredient for fertilizer.
“A drought in the midwestern United States harmed the wheat harvest here. We expect the need to be so great that many will face starvation, especially in impoverished areas,” said Wright. “Let’s show the love of Jesus by meeting needs physically and spiritually with the Gospel.”
As of July 2022, an estimated 345 million people are near the point of starvation, a 25% increase from the beginning of the year before Russia invaded Ukraine. Conflict, displacement, and global destabilization have led the malnourished population to grow for the sixth consecutive year.
What is Global Hunger Relief?
For 44 years, Southern Baptists have been raising funds to combat hunger around the globe. Originally started in 1978 as the World Hunger Fund, Global Hunger Relief is dedicated to the fight to minimize world hunger and to sharing the gospel of Christ.
Global Hunger Sunday is a great opportunity for churches to promote an offering to support Global Hunger Relief. Send Relief helps to promote and distribute the offering each year.
“Southern Baptist Christians have been concerned about global hunger needs for several decades now,” said Wright. “That concern has driven them to start soup kitchens and food pantries in their local communities. It has also driven them to give to funds like Global Hunger Relief, which Send Relief helps to administer to meet hunger needs around the world.”
Send Relief focuses on five key areas: strengthen communities, care for refugees, protect children and families, fight human trafficking, and respond to crisis. The ministry sets up specific funds for these focus areas, creates funds for specific projects, and receives general donations to support compassion ministry efforts around the world.
Generosity toward Global Hunger Relief helps respond to crisis by meeting hunger-related needs in various ways. When famine or natural disaster strikes, gifts to Global Hunger Relief provide resources for missionaries and other ministry partners to give food during those times of crisis.
Efforts also include projects that have a longer-term focus that offer sustainable solutions designed to strengthen communities by easing chronic hunger. Missionaries and ministry partners will provide job skills training, livestock and seed distribution, clean water, home reconstruction, as well as medical care.
In 2021, Southern Baptists gave $3.5 million through Global Hunger Relief, and 100% of those gifts go toward meeting hunger needs with 20% going to needs in North America and 80 going toward international hunger needs.
While Southern Baptists will officially recognize Global Hunger Sunday this coming weekend, Southern Baptist ministry partners are welcome to collect and submit the offering throughout the year.
To learn more about Global Hunger Relief, visit globalhungerrelief.org, and for resources designed to help churches recognize Global Hunger Sunday, visit here.