BRAZIL, Ind. – The Center Point/Ashboro Charge of The United Methodist Church, under the direction of Pastor Bob Kumpf, first met two years ago with Pastor Gary Scroggins of the Brazil First Presbyterian Church and Father John Hollowell of Brazil Annunciation Catholic Church. They began working to alleviate hunger problems in the Brazil area with a grant from the Indiana Conference Social Advocacy Team.

With these funds in hand, the discussion among Scroggins, Hollowell and Kumpf moved from a simple gathering to an event that would benefit the entire community and allow Christians to work side-by-side in addressing a problem affecting all. They discovered 51 percent of all students in Clay County were listed as participants in the Indiana Department of Education’s Free and Reduced Lunch Program. That amounts to more than 4,600 children and youth. The next question was obvious, “What do those kids do for food in the summer and on weekends?”

There is a Summer Food Program in Brazil provided by the YMCA for breakfast and lunch for kids 18 and under and there is one church providing weekend lunch bags at one school, but they need assistance.

In early March 2013, the decision was made to start a hunger awareness program and to organize an event to raise funds to combat this hunger issue. With the help of the Brazil Times, many local pastors, congregations, teachers, civic leaders and organizations, hunger information spread through the community.

On May 27, 2013, the “Food for Families – Running on Empty” 5K walk/run took place at Forest Park in Brazil. More than 200 people participated and raised more than $6,500. In bright blue shirts, runners and walkers made a lap through the streets of Brazil showing their support for youth.

This May 26, the Second Annual “Food for Families – Running on Empty” 5K walk/run took place. This year more than 225 participants, 40 business sponsors, 15 churches and civic groups rallied together to raise more than $ 12,700 in support of this cause.

Kumpf commented on the success, “Isn’t it amazing what we can do when we are ‘connected’ as the Body of Christ!”

Picture and story submitted by Bob Kumpf.

More than 225 participants raised more than $12,700 for hunger relief in Brazil, Ind., this spring.