Food Banks Can’t Meet Growing Demand – But Christian Families Could!

2 12 2008

From USA Today:

Donations to many of the USA’s food banks are not keeping pace with growing demand as the sour economy forces more people to seek help, charitable organizations say.

“We have seen a 100% increase in demand in the last year … and food donations have dropped precipitously,” says Dana Wilkie, CEO of the Community Food Bank in Fresno, Calif.

And the UK’s Times Online reports that many charitable organizations are on the brink of collapse due to corporations curtailing contributions due to economic conditions, while at the same time demand for services is increasing for the same reason.

Shelter, the homelessness charity, says that it has lost £400,000 in six weeks as corporate sponsors cancel contributions. It has been forced to lay off 30 staff at a time when a rise in the number of repossessions has seen demand for the charity’s services rise by 20 per cent.

But now consider this:

A U.S. Senate subcommittee report estimated that if every Christian family would only take care of its own, the federal dole would decrease a full 30 percent. If every church would then take care of its own, the dole would decrease another 12 percent. And then, if each of those churches would provide a sponsoring family to exercise charity to a single outsider, the federal dole could be eliminated completely. Just like that. Families simply fulfilling their Christian responsibility to their own (1 Timothy 5:8), to their brethren in Christ (Galatians 6:10), and to the stranger and alien (Exodus 23:9) can so effectively do the work of charity that no back-up system, no federal bureaucracy, no matching funds, and no professional humanitarians are necessary. Families can do the job.

~George Grant, Bringing In The Sheaves – Replacing Government Welfare with Biblical Charity

I found this quote from Grant’s book to be thought-provoking. Since there are many views on what “charity” really is, I should mention that it doesn’t mean actions based on guilt and pity, such as just indiscriminately handing out free stuff to everyone that asks.

While biblical charity certainly doesn’t exclude gifts, God’s provision for the poor (as revealed in his word) is discriminating. Those that are able to work, must work. We should not interfere with God’s judgment of prodigals, sluggards, and drunkards. They must be called to Christ, called to their families, and called to work. Biblical charity is an equipping of men to do those things.

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One response

2 12 2008
Rob

I am speechless. Awesome post, and great investigative reporting there. Very, very good!

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