Four-Cents-A-Meal is part of Shenandoah Presbytery’s Hunger Program which in turn is part of the Presbyterian Hunger Program PC(USA). Since the numbers differ from 2-cents-a-meal to 5-cents-a-meal in different locations, the general name is Cents-Ability program. It originated in 1976 as “Two-Cents-A-Meal” by Presbyterian Women to involve individuals and families in a corporate response to world hunger. Congregations invite every member – of all ages – to contribute a few cents at every meal. This simple act is an expression of thanks for what we have received and a commitment to share with others. A collection box stands in the vestibule. Some people donate a little at a time. Some folks tally up at the end of the year (365 x 3 x 4 cents) and add to their pledge.
The distribution of money collected by churches in Shenandoah Presbytery is as follows: Each church retains 25% of funds collected to use as they wish. Balance of funds are sent to presbytery for allocation according to its guidelines – International Hunger Relief Programs: 65%; National/Local Hunger Relief Program: 28%, Advocacy for the Hungry Programs: 7% In 2015. So far in 2016, our congregation has contributed $50 to the Four-Cents-a-Meal initiative, but many members prefer to make an annual donation in December. In 2015, the Presbytery of Shenandoah, according to their web site, distributed $44,348 to international organizations such as Living Waters, Presbyterian Hunger Program, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, and Illubabor Bethel Synod of Ethiopia. National distributions totaled $19,104 and included many local Food Banks. The West Virginia Council of Churches, the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, and Bread for the World were the advocacy agencies awarded $4776. (Figures from website www.shenpres.org)
. The money goes to worthwhile causes determined by The Funds Administration Committee, distributed as explained above. Perhaps this article will spark some interest in others to participate in this worthwhile offering!