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ELCA World Hunger

ELCA World Hunger’s Big Game Challenge 2021!


The Big Game Challenge has kicked off, and our church is racing toward the goal of ending hunger!

While you are cheering on your team and celebrating with family and friends— let’s help tackle hunger together!


From kickoff to final whistle, Team Kansas City and Team Tampa Bay will seek to outdo one another for the sake of the gospel. The fans that donate the most through their team page to ELCA World Hunger by midnight Central time on February 7 will help their synod take home the title of ELCA World Hunger Champion — regardless of the outcome on the field. Whether your favorite formation is 3-4, 4-3, or 3:16, you can send your nickels and dimes to support your team!

Team Kansas City and Team Tampa Bay are currently neck-and-neck and asking for your support! You can support your team by visiting the ELCA World Hunger Big Game Synod Challenge 2021 fundraising page at!

Check out this video of Bishop Susan Candea of the Central States Synod of the ELCA encouraging supporters:


And not to be outdone, the Florida-Bahamas Synod’s Bishop Pedro Suárez is ready to prove that Team Tampa Bay has “the best football team and the most generous synod!”


Be sure to send us your game day photos, and may the best team win – so we can all tackle hunger together! #TeamTampaBay #TeamKansasCity #ELCAWorldHunger


Visit to be part of the action!


(Thanks to Lizzy Croghan at Creative Coworking, Evanston, Ill., for the image of Martin Luther)

“Know Your Neighborhood”: A New Resource from ELCA World Hunger!


A New Resource for Learning, Sharing and Leading

Good information is the backbone of effective responses to hunger and poverty. But where do we get the information we need? And where can we get reliable information about our local communities? ELCA World Hunger’s new “Know Your Neighborhood Worksheet and Guide” is here to help!

This fillable worksheet gives step-by-step instructions for finding the most up-to-date, reliable data on counties within the United States. Each section offers clear instructions for finding data from sources such as the United States Census Bureau, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. There are also tips to help you dig even deeper into the numbers and to share the information with others.

What Information Can I Find?

“Know Your Neighborhood” is divided into five sections:

  • Housing
  • Employment and Poverty
  • Food Security
  • Food Access
  • Community Asset Mapping

Each section provides a brief introduction to the issues, a summary of what information to look for and a list of the sources used for the data (click to enlarge):

Some of the questions that you will be able to answer with the help of “Know Your Neighborhood”:

  • How many people are homeless in my state? How many homeless people in my state are currently sheltered?

  • What is the median household income in my county?

  • How many people are living in poverty in my county?

  • What is the median household income in my synod?

  • What is the unemployment rate in my county?

  • How many people are food insecure in my county?

  • How many people in my county live in a food desert?

Another New Resource: Synod Maps

In addition to the worksheet in “Know Your Neighborhood,” ELCA World Hunger is happy to provide synod maps here. These maps are color-coded and show the median household income by zip code for synods. (The Slovak Zion Synod and the Caribbean Synod are not available.) In addition, each map shows the locations of ELCA congregations throughout the synod.

As you can see in this example map of the Northwestern Minnesota Synod, the color-coded areas represent median household income brackets (click to enlarge):

How Can You Use This Data?

The worksheet and maps for “Know Your Neighborhood” give leaders a quick way to collect and share information with others in the community. These will be helpful for

  • Presentations

  • Temple talks

  • Newsletters

  • Considering new ministry plans

  • Sharing the story of a current ministry

  • Advocacy

  • And much more!

Download “Know Your Neighborhood” from The synod maps can be found at And check out other resources from ELCA World Hunger on the same page!


If you use “Know Your Neighborhood” or have questions about how to use the maps or the guide, get in touch with us at


ELCA World Hunger “Big Game” Synod Challenge: Team Carolina and Team Denver Are Both Hunger “Champions”

ELCA World Hunger Big Game Synod Challenge

The Results Are In!

As the professional football season winds to a close each winter, fans across the country start planning parties large and small, usually with an abundance of pre-game snacks and treats, for the Big Game.  Jersey-clad diehards and fair-weather fans alike break bread, or more likely, wings and nachos, as they cheer on their favorite teams.  Amid piles of chips, dips, and rib tips, it can be easy to forget that so many people around the world and here in the United States often struggle to fill their own plates, let alone the plates of families and friends visiting for the Game.

This year, ELCA Lutherans worked to change that.  Team Carolina and Team Denver took part in ELCA World Hunger’s “Big Game” Synod Challenge to raise awareness and dollars to support ELCA World Hunger’s work in nearly 60 countries, including the United States. And the results are in!

It wasn’t quite the thumping we saw on the field, but Team Denver edged out Team Carolina to win this friendly competition.  Together, the teams and their supporters raised over $70,000, with Team Denver bringing in $35,621 and Team Carolina following closely with $34,672. Together with a few gifts that came in after the competition, over $77,012 were raised for ELCA World Hunger!  These gifts will support food pantries, jobs programs, shelters, health clinics, agricultural programs and much, much more.

How Did They Do It?

The Rocky Mountain, North Carolina and South Carolina Synods shared photos, videos and social media posts to get the word out and gifts in.  (Check out the Team Carolina video here, and the Team Denver video here.)  Here is where donations came from:


Both teams took advantage of Team ELCA, a new online fundraising platform, that congregations, groups and individuals can use to support ELCA World Hunger.  By forming a team, you can invite friends, family and neighbors to join your efforts.  Team ELCA is a great way to draw others together in your event.  From birthdays to youth group overnights to synod-wide events like ELCA World Hunger’s Big Game Challenge, Team ELCA can be an important tool in expanding the reach of your efforts.  Learn more about Team ELCA with a handy tip sheet that can be found here (

Thank you to Team Denver and Team Carolina, and to everyone who joined in this tremendous effort!  Your support will help our church live out its call to be “church for the sake of the world” in communities facing hunger and poverty around the world.