Presbytery of Western North Carolina

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Nickel-a-Meal Hunger Program

The Nickel a Meal Mission program is one way in which the Presbytery of Western North Carolina can respond, through over-and-above giving, to the biblical mandate to show compassion and do justice for those in need. The program provides an avenue for outreach and ministry through which each member of Presbytery can participate equally.

There are three emphases to the program: prayer, discovery, and action. By being involved in all three aspects of the program, participants open themselves to the Holy Spirit’s leading to other waysNickel which to be part of God’s work.

The plan of Nickel a Meal is very simple. Each person puts 5 cents (or more) in a special bank for each meal he/she eats. This amounts to $54.75 per person per year.

The money is sent to Presbytery. Twice a year the Presbytery Hunger Committee reviews grant requests from regional ministries working with those who are poor. These agencies must have programs that meet the guidelines adopted by Presbytery, be endorsed by local Presbyterian churches, and representatives must meet with the Hunger Committee. International programs/agencies receiving funds must have been approved by the PCUSA, or else receive approval for Presbytery’s Coordinating Council. The funds are allocated as follows: International projects: 55%; Regional projects: 40%; Education and Administrative costs: up to 5% (with the unused portion allocated to international projects). Presbytery Council must approve regional allocations, and Presbytery is informed regularly. An annual report is sent to all congregations at the beginning of the new year.

There are several reasons why the program is important within the life of the specific congregation and the Presbytery as a whole.

  1. God commands us to respond in concrete ways to the poor and needy

  2. It is simple enough for children to understand.

  3. It offers all members of Presbytery, young and old, from large and small, rural and urban congregations, the opportunity to participate as equal partners in mission.

  4. It provides an ongoing process of family and congregational awareness and participation that keeps the needs of poor people before each participant.

  5. It encourages making the needs of poor people the subject of private, family and congregational prayer, as well as congregational worship and study.

  6. It is a good beginning point from which a deeper understanding of the root causes of hunger can develop.

  7. It offers to the people of WNC evidence of God’s compassion as manifest in Presbytery outreach.

  8. It gives evidence that the Good News of Jesus Christ touches the lives of both “givers” and “receivers” at the points of their special needs.

  9. It is intended to provide a means by which participants can turn away from materialism and over consumption.

  10. It has the potential of raising a significant amount of money for mission: almost half a mission dollars a year if every member of our Presbytery participates!