In celebration of 50 years of Lutheran hunger ministries, the Hunger Team of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod has launched a renewed commitment to ending hunger in their communities and around the globe. 

A dedicated group braved scorching heat to participate in the synod’s Walk for Hunger, held June 22 at Conrad Weiser High School track in Robesonia, Berks County. Hunger Team leaders, LAMPa staff, synod staff, and leaders from various ministries attended. 

Pastor Eileen Smith Le Van and spouse Brian Smith helped organize the walk. “We will have to await totals from the synod office to determine how much we raised,” said Pastor Eileen Smith LeVan, who along with spouse Brian Smith helped organize the walk . “But it was a blessing to be together with a community of compassionate, caring people to contribute to the work of the ELCA to see that all are fed.”

In addition to raising funds to fight hunger, the event also launched a vision of a newly engaged hunger team in the Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod. Lutherans from across the synod were encouraged to take part in the walk at the 2024 synod assembly, where offerings for ELCA World Hunger were also accepted. Hunger leaders at the walk were excited by the idea of a more active synod hunger team engaging with our collective call to serve our neighbor through our hunger ministries and through events like the walk, with the hope of a bigger presence in the coming months and years. 

Participants spoke about their involvement in hunger ministries—including with previous iterations of the synod hunger team—and had a chance to learn about how they can advocate for an end to hunger in Pennsylvania. These conversations connected Lutherans across generations and across ministries and helped participants connect advocacy to the faithful care for neighbors facing hunger that most of them are already engaged in. 

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