Grants worth $137,000 given to 26 churches and organizations by MDS Canada in 2022-23
WINNIPEG, Man. – One way the Living Word Temple in Winnipeg serves its community is through a program that provides food to children who attend schools in the area.
“Families in our area struggle with food security and this is a way we can love the children who have little or no control over their food supply,” said Cherie Bright, part of the congregation.
The church, which is part of the Mennonite Brethren Church of Manitoba, serves the children at lunch time on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
“Our volunteers from the community help cook, serve, set-up and clean-up,” said Bright. “We sit down with the children to build relationships with them, support them and build better community.”
With funding for the program drying up, the church turned to the Spirit of Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) Canada Spirit of MDS Fund for support, receiving a grant of $5,000 to buy food.
“We have a team of two community volunteers who cook regularly and a few others that serve, and help in the operation,” said Bright, noting there are others who spend quality time with the children.
“Feeding these children a healthy lunch allows them to concentrate better in school,” she said. “It also gives children good healthy relationships with good adult role models. In the past it has opened up relationships with these children that still exist going on into their youth.”
The grant to Living Word Temple was just one of 26 grants worth just over $137,000 given to churches and organizations across Canada by MDS Canada in 2022-23.
For 2023-24, the organization is once again inviting Canadian congregations and organizations that need assistance in serving their communities to consider applying for funding.
The Spirit of MDS Fund was created during the pandemic when MDS Canada was unable to do any projects but wanted to assist congregations responding to needs arising from that challenging time in their communities. When the pandemic abated, it was retained as an ongoing program of the organization.
Grants from the Fund can be used for things like construction or renovation projects of homes of people in need; for food or other needed resources for those in crisis; for ministry and service projects that involve volunteers serving the neighbourhood; or other creative ideas that are a fit with MDS Canada’s two Core Values: Faith in Action and Caring Relationships.
Grants of up to $5,000 are available.
To apply for a grant, go to https://mds.org/spirit-of-mds-fund/
John Longhurst, MDS Canada Communications