Churches United of the Quad Cities served over 145,000 individuals in 2016 through their hunger ministry. They stock 25 food pantries throughout the metropolitan area of Scott County in Iowa and Rock Island County in Illinois. Over 100 churches and community organizations participate in this ministry with contributions of money, food and/or volunteers.
Rhonda Johnson, an office assistant with Churches United, says that the goal of this ministry is to serve anyone who is hungry, striving “to never have to turn anyone away for lack of food.” Someone who has a need for emergency food more than once within a 30-day period may work with a caseworker, pastor, school nurse or counselor for a referral for additional support.
Churches United also serves free hot and nourishing meals to over 28,000 hungry people each year in three different locations. Individuals and families may visit a meal site as often as every night of the week if necessary. Food is served cafeteria style. Churches United does all the scheduling and provides all the paper products (plates, bowls, cups), silverware, condiments, table coverings and trash can liners.
A $2,000 Matthew 25 grant from the Southeast District supported the hunger ministry in 2016. These funds were made possible with the apportionment gifts of United Methodist churches throughout Iowa.