Bring the full tenth into the storehouse so that there may be food in My house. Test Me in this way,” says the Lord of Hosts. “See if I will not open the floodgates of heaven and pour out a blessing for you without measure.”
Malachi 3:10 (HCSB)
In the book of Genesis, we see the storehouse introduced by Joseph as a way to save Egypt from the seven years of famine that were to take over the land (Genesis 41). Through the seven prosperous years that preceded the famine, Joseph instructed Pharaoh to get all of the people of the land to bring one-fifth of their produce to the storehouse over the seven-year period.
During the famine, rations were given from the storehouse to those who lived in the land based on family size. Due to the faithfulness of Pharaoh, God was able to use Joseph to save Egypt.
While we don’t face the type of famine that overtook Egypt today, the hunger crisis is continually growing. The use of various government-sanctioned and sponsored programs have assisted in stopping this epidemic. Soup kitchens assist those who are homeless while food pantries have been opened around the world by various churches and organizations. In 2014, USA Today reported that nearly 1 in 7 people (46 million people) in America relied on food banks,* our current-day storehouse. Below are some facts about food insecurity in 2015** that might shock you:
- – 42.2 million Americans lived in food insecure households, including 29.1 million adults and 13.1 million children.
- – 13 percent of households (15.8 million households) were food insecure.
- – 5 percent of households (6.3 million households) experienced very low food security.
- – Households that had higher rates of food insecurity than the national average included households with children (17%), especially households with children headed by single women (30%) or single men (22%), Black non-Hispanic households (22%) and Hispanic households (19%).
- – Food insecurity exists in every county in America, ranging from a low of 3 percent in Grant County, KS to a high of 38 percent in Jefferson County, MS.
To put these numbers into perspective, there were 321.4 million people recorded living in America in 2015. Remove the 42.2 million Americans that were apart of food-insecure households and you are still left with 280 Americans who are living with food security.
Do you know what your community has in place for those who are suffering from hunger? What about your church? What about you? What are you doing to help take care of those who may not have enough food to feed themselves or their family each week? It’s time to find out! Locate the nearest food pantry or food bank and donate 10 percent of either your weekly or monthly food budget to assist them in making a difference. But don’t stop there! Find a way to make a lasting change within your community.
Not sure what to donate? Here are just a few things that we have found to be good:
- – Canned Beans
- – Dry Beans
- – Peanut Butter
- – Rolled Oats
- – Low-Sodium Soups
- – Canned Tuna in Water
- – Canned Chicken
- – Nuts, Unsalted
- – Whole Grain Pasta
- – Honey
- – 100% Juice Drinks
- – Dry pasta
- – Low-Sodium Vegetables
- – No sugar added fruits
- – Diced Tomatoes
- – Tomato Sauce
- – Cooking Oils
Let us know when you’ve gotten this week’s challenge completed by tagging @BTGUM and using the hashtag #BlackJackChallenge on any social media channel. Here are just a few questions to reflect upon:
- How did it feel to donate 10 percent of your weekly or monthly budget to the food bank? Did you feel like you needed to do more?
- Now that you have donated to the food bank, are there other ways that you found you can get involved?
- Before doing this challenge, did you know what the food banks and/or pantries did for the community?
- Are your eyes opened to the hunger epidemic? If so, how can you help lower the percentages?
Don’t want to post online? No problem, we still want to hear from you! Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know how this challenge impacted your life.
Make Your Move