Domestic Hunger Grants


We are church together, working toward a just world where all are fed.

ELCA World Hunger Domestic Hunger Grants accompany congregations and their partners throughout the United States and Caribbean as they draw on the strengths of communities to address local issues such as food security, housing, job readiness, clean water, human rights, policy change, leadership development and more. Together, these ministries are part of a comprehensive approach to breaking the cycle of poverty and hunger – for good.

To learn more about ELCA World Hunger and apply, check out the resources on this page.




Our priorities

Accompaniment of communities toward a just world where all are fed means breaking down barriers between neighbors, ensuring just laws and policies for all and addressing the root causes of hunger. That’s why ELCA World Hunger is excited to partner with ministries and projects that are transformative, holistic and integrated, providing bread for today and hope for tomorrow.


Transformative ministries work to break down barriers, reduce inequality and build strong relationships that can move us toward a just world where all are fed. Transformative ministries build relationships across the lines that divide our communities with an eye toward justice for all. This might look like projects focused on reducing disparities based on race, gender, economic status, sexuality or citizenship.




The ELCA is called to be both a serving and liberating presence in the world, meeting the immediate needs of neighbors through mercy and working for long-term, systemic change through advocacy. For example, many holistic ministries start with food—and then address the broader challenges that lie at the root of hunger and poverty. Holistic ministries may address these root causes by creating opportunities for people facing hunger to advocate for meaningful policy change, or they may organize people most affected for collective, community action.




Integrated ministries draw on the many strengths of communities to respond to need in multiple, related ways. Maybe this means providing food for families while advocating for affordable housing, building case management into a financial literacy program or providing safe space for people who are vulnerable while offering job readiness assistance. Addressing multiple causes of hunger and poverty through integrated services can make ministries and projects more sustainable and effective.

Click the image below to read the story of Table Grace Café, an integrated ministry in Omaha, Neb.


Application Essentials


Grant Awards

  • Awards will be for a three-year cycle, with a maximum award of $10,000 per year, contingent upon the completion of annual evaluations and fund availability.
  • New applications are accepted annually.



  • At a minimum, ELCA World Hunger Domestic Hunger Grant applicants must be:
    • a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization;
    • able to demonstrate a strong, recognized and established relationship with a congregation, ministry or institution of the ELCA; 
    • able to demonstrate a strong, recognized and established relationship with the community in which the work will take place; and
    • actively engaged in the work described in the application.
  • Given the priority areas described above, ELCA World Hunger especially seeks to support ministries that:
    • clearly address root causes of hunger in communities;
    • demonstrate strong commitment to diversity and inclusion in leadership and decision-making;
    • create or foster opportunities for advocacy toward systemic change;
    • are based within ELCA congregations or institutions, affiliated social ministry organizations, institutional partners or full communion partners; and
    • leverage local assets through partnerships with other local ministries and organizations and self-invest in the ministry through time, human and financial resources.
  • Applicant organizations that discriminate among guests and neighbors, require participation in faith-related activities as a prerequisite for services or apply as “pass-through” organizations will not be considered for funding.


What you need to apply

  • your organization’s contact and tax identification information
  • a letter of support from a participant or partner in your project. Invite them to write a letter using the suggested language available here.
  • the current budget for your organization and the projected budget for the ministry described in your application; and
  • for non-ELCA affiliated applicants, a recommendation letter from an ELCA synod, congregation or organization


Application Timeline

  • Application available: June 12-August 13, 2018
  • Application review: September-October 2018
  • Awards announced: early December 2018



The application period for Domestic Hunger Grants has closed. Please check back in March 2019 for updates on next year's grant cycle.



Learn More

To learn more about Domestic Hunger Grants and the new ELCA Grantmaker system, click on the link below for FAQ and a recorded webinar that reviews our granting priorities and covers the basics of applying.

Webinar and FAQs



Contact us

ELCA World Hunger

8765 West Higgins Rd, Chicago, IL, 60631

800-638-3522 ext. 2616