The Hunger Program
Our Parish Wide Ministry
The Hunger Program
Making the words of Jesus as their focus, the founders determined that the prime ministry is a parish wide one. It is the Hunger Program that drives the yearly Country Fair that claims the energies of us all.
Cecile Erlsten has chaired the Hunger Program and the County Fair. She shares some of the history and the present work of the program. Her words follow:
FACT: It is estimated that some 900 million plus people in the world suffer from hunger and malnutrition.
FACT: It is estimated that approximately 30 million children suffer from food shortages every year.
FACT: It is estimated that many senior citizens must choose between buying food and buying medicine.
Fr. Sean Mulcahey and a group of committed parishioners formed the St. Maurice Hunger Program. The program has grown over the years into a great ministry that involves the work of all of our parishioners as well as others who share our vision of grass roots based ministry not limited by boundaries.
Its vision is to make a concrete response of action to the Gospel of Matthew here in our time. It does so by establishing hunger projects that aim to help ease the plight of those who are not as fortunate as we are. Its work is not limited by boundaries and projects are found in our own country and in a number of other countries, especially in the developing nations.
The first hunger project was established in a barrio outside Bogotá, Columbia. It was the first of many. The Hunger Program Board receives requests for new Hunger projects every year.
In an effort to raise funds to support this project, Rice Thursday was introduced. Each family in the parish is encouraged to help by eating rice on the first Thursday of each month. The funds saved are then donated to the Hunger Program.
Country Fair has been raising funds for parish projects with a portion of the funds raised donated to the Hunger Project. As the needs grew, it was decided to have 100% of the profits dedicated to the Hunger Program. Over the years we were able to continue the funding of the program but with 50% of the Country Fair profits being used to meet parish needs and 50% supporting the Hunger Program.
To date we have 27 ongoing projects all over the world. Projects can be found in Broward County, Dade County, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Bolivia, Uganda, Tanzania, Peru, Philippines, and India.
Our mission statement is to prayerfully accept the commandment of Jesus to feed the hungry and give drink to the thirsty, through the Grace of God and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. We are asked to minister to God’s poorest of the poor through the spiritual and financial support of the family.