T he international Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) has committed $150,000 to support Adventist Community Services (ACS) food pantries in the U.S. to respond to the COVID-19 food relief efforts. In addition, ADRA is providing $2.3 million worth of medical consumables as gifts-in-kind and 426 boxes of PPE (personal protective equipment)."We are grateful for ADRA's commitment to serve and to partner with ACS for this endeavor," said Sung Kwon, NAD ACS director.
North American Division (NAD) ACS has committed to supporting the operations of ACS food pantry ministries of local conferences within the division (U.S., Canada, Bermuda, and Guam-Micronesia). ACS has invested 1.5 million dollars and allocated a grant of $25,000 per conference for relief efforts.
Food Banks have limited supplies due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s not easy for ACS food pantry ministries to obtain free food, which is causing a strain on the centers that are continuing to serve and support families and individuals in need. [Click here to read reports shared with us by some of our conference ACS leaders on currently active ACS food pantries and church feeding programs in their territories.]
Since volunteers are committed to continuing to serve, there is a greater need to protect them and keep them safe. ACS centers encounter additional costs related to safety items such as gloves, masks, wipes, paper towels, disinfectants, and sanitizers.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting virtually every aspect of the ACS ministry and Adventist Church membership, from the division to unions and conferences to churches. The support of ADRA International has been much appreciated,” Kwon said. "We are thankful for their consideration and willingness to partner with ACS," said Kwon.
“As a unified team, ADRA International and NAD ACS, together we are strong. Together we will not just persevere; we will demonstrate the steadfast love of our Lord Jesus Christ,” Kwon added.
Local conferences in the U.S. may apply for the one-time assistance of $1,000 per ACS food pantry ministry, and up to $10,000 for 10 ACS food pantries. "Since resources are limited and we are not able to support all conferences in the NAD, we will have a competitive application process to assist additional financial support," said Kwon.
The application deadline is May 26, 2020. The applications will be evaluated based on criteria including need, the number of persons served, and impact in the region. Approved application recipients will be notified by June 2, 2020.
"As indicated, all applications will be carefully reviewed and prioritized based on current ACS engagements and much-need situations," Kwon said, informing potential recipient pantries to "not assume it is the same process as one that we processed for the $1.5 million COVID-19 Food Relief Fund from NAD ACS."
"This is not the end of the pandemic," added Kwon. "It will remain with us, and this fight will continue for a long time to come. I encourage everyone to take precautions to protect themselves and their family members, now and after restrictions begin to lift. And let’s genuinely care, be kind, reach out, and engage with our families, neighbors, and fellow church members.”
Click here if you are from a conference and have questions; click here if your conference would like to apply for the assistance.