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, clean water, housing, job access, 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 to apply, check out the resources on this page.
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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 a 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 the 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.
Our Domestic Ministry Partnerships and Investments
This year, ELCA World Hunger is partnering through Domestic Hunger Grants with 149 ministries spread out across 57 synods and 41 states, plus Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.
ELCA World Hunger is also investing in twelve ministries that demonstrate excellence, innovation and best practices that align with ELCA World Hunger’s priority areas in substantial, sustainable ways through one-time Big Dream grants. Big Dream grants are by invitation.
Sign up here to receive news from ELCA World Hunger about what our incredible ministry partners are up to!
Daily Bread Matching Grants
ELCA World Hunger Daily Bread Matching Grants support congregations and their partners as they work toward a just world where all are fed. ELCA congregations with feeding ministries are eligible to participate, regardless of whether or not they have received a Daily Bread Matching Grant in the past.
These grants provide daily bread for neighbors experiencing hunger while also serving as a tool for ministry fundraising and capacity building. ELCA World Hunger Daily Bread Matching Grants will be made available to congregations on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration and applications for the 2023 Daily Bread Matching Grant will open April 25, 2022. Registration and applications for Daily Bread Matching Grants is currently closed while we reimagine how to better support our feeding ministry partners.
Indigenous and Ethnic Specific Ministry Grant Initiative
The COVID-19 pandemic and the associated economic crisis have brought into focus the ways in which systems and structures created to ensure basic human needs are met are also seriously flawed and designed to fail historically oppressed communities. In the United States, the data has clearly shown the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on ethnic-specific communities of color.
In response, ELCA World Hunger and the ELCA’s Indigenous and Ethnic Specific Associations and Ministries are partnering through grants to respond to needs identified in and through the ELCA’s indigenous and ethnic-specific communities. With the knowledge that the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic will have a disproportionate impact on communities facing hunger and poverty, these grants will support ministries as they work at the intersections of race, ethnicity and poverty toward building thriving, healthy and resilient communities where all are fed.
Domestic Hunger Grant Application Essentials
- Awards will be for a three-year cycle, with a maximum award of $10,000 per year, contingent upon fund availability and the completion of annual evaluations.
- New applications are accepted annually. The application period typically opens in spring.
- 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, including direct engagement of people who themselves are experiencing hunger or poverty;
- create or foster opportunities for advocacy toward systemic change;
- leverage local assets through partnerships with other local ministries and organizations and invest their own time and financial resources in the ministry.
- As a ministry of the church, ELCA World Hunger will prioritize ELCA congregations in the award process.
- 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
- To apply, you will need to answer the following questions:
- What systemic issues are being addressed in the communities served?
- How does your organization or project plan to address systemic issues in the communities served?
- Who are the participants?
- What is the total amount you are requesting?
- Is this a single year or a multi-year request?
- Is this request part of an existing organization or ministry or a new ministry or organization?
- Is the organization or ministry directly implementing or is it in partnership with other entities?
- To apply, please fill out our Letter of Inquiry form linked here.
If invited to complete a full grant application in ELCA GrantMaker, you will need:
- Your organization’s contact and tax identification information. If awarded a grant, you will be required to provide a current letter verifying your organization’s 501(c)(3) status.
- The current budget for your organization and the projected budget for the ministry described in your application.
- A personal testimonial from a stakeholder in your project or ministry who has lived experience of poverty or hunger, describing the ministry's impact and importance for them and/or their community - in their own words.
- A letter of support, from rostered or lay leadership of an ELCA congregation, that illustrates the relationship between the ministry and the congregation. How does the ministry’s relationship with the congregation nurture life-changing relationships with God, one another and the world? If the applicant is an ELCA congregation itself, the letter can come from its own leadership.
- All documents included with your application must be PDFs.
- Letter of inquiry form open: May 1-May 31, 2023
- Letter of inquiry review: June 2023-July 2023
- Response to the letter of inquiry (decline or accept): July 31, 2023
- Invited applicants to complete grant application in ELCA GrantMaker: August 1-31, 2023
- Review and communication between ELCA World Hunger staff and grant applicants on proposal: August – November 2023
- Award notifications shared with applicants: November 2023
- Final awards approved and publicly announced: February 2024
- 2024 Domestic Hunger Grants start date: March 1, 2024
To learn more about Domestic Hunger Grants and ELCA Grantmaker, click on the links below for FAQ and a webinar that reviews our granting priorities and covers the basics of applying, sample word documents and PDF of the LOI to help you prepare before you submit.
Webinar and FAQs VIEW SAMPLE LETTER OF INQUIRY FORM
Download LOI Word Document (English) Download LOI Word Document (Español)
Have questions about submitting your Letter of Inquiry? Join ELCA World Hunger Staff for open office hours. No need to register just click the following zoom link at the time of the meeting: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/84584923183
- Friday, May 5th 11:30am-1:00pm CDT
- Monday, May 15th 6:30pm-8:00pm CDT
- Tuesday, May 16th 12:00pm-2:00pm CDT
- Wednesday, May 17th 3:00pm-5:00pm CDT