F.U.E.L. is a ministry based on anonymous servanthood for Jesus Christ and unconditional love for children and families of our community. F.U.E.L. was adopted to help feed school children that have little or no food on weekends. For some children, their only food source may be the school lunch program.
There are approximately 25% of children enrolled in the Federal Free Lunch Program in our community. We estimate that these children go 67 hours with little or no food from lunch at school on Friday until breakfast at school on Monday morning. But we have found a way to help. The F.U.E.L. program is a food subsidization program that places food directly in the backpacks of these children every Friday afternoon at school so that every weekend they have something to eat. The F.U.E.L. program at #HermitageUMC currently sponsors about 30 children at four area elementary schools.
Children are selected by the schools, not based on income, but on signs of hunger. Their parents sign permission slips to receive our food bags. We don’t know their names, the schools keep them anonymous so that we can focus on sharing love and food. We gather specific foods that meet the nutrition requirements of growing children, and on Tuesday evenings, volunteers prepare the food packages by packing enough food for the weekend in grocery style bags, and we pray over them. On Fridays, the bags are delivered by volunteers to the participating schools, who place them directly in the backpacks of children for them to enjoy over the weekend. We do this every week during the school year.
The success of the F.U.E.L. Ministry: The following are stories of success that have been shared by the school counselors about children participating in our F.U.E.L. program:
- Children have improved behavior;
- children have more self-esteem;
- children are more alert and have the energy to participate in class;
- children have better attendance; and
- F.U.E.L. is the only gift some children receive all year long.
How to Help:
- Pack food bags on Tuesday nights. Individuals, families, and groups are welcome to help, email Courtney to schedule a time.
- Your Sunday School class or HUMC-affiliated group could sign up to volunteer each Tuesday for a month! Contact us for more information.
- Look and shop for current food needs that we post in our church publication, eblast, or website. This can be delivered to the church office.
- If you would like more information on becoming a F.U.E.L. coordinator for your church, club, organization or community and would like for someone to come and share more information with you, contact us.
- Donations can be made to assist the F.U.E.L. program. It costs approximately $20 per month to feed one child for a school year. This breaks down to $4.80 for one weekend per child. Checks should be made payable to Hermitage UMC and specify that your donation is for the F.U.E.L. program. Deliver it to the church office or place it in the collection basket.