First BFIA grants of the year go to churches offering temporary housing and food assistance

A boy helps stock the Blessing Box at Living Faith Church of the Brethren in Concord, N.C.

The Brethren Faith in Action Fund (BFIA) has distributed its first grants for 2021. The fund gives grants to Church of the Brethren congregations and camps using money generated by the sale of the upper campus of the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md.

Living Faith Church of the Brethren in Concord, N.C., has received $5,000 for its food pantry, which supports people living in Cabarrus County. Need has increased because of COVID-19 and unemployment. This grant helps the church increase its supply of food and open the pantry every other week throughout the pandemic.

Spring Creek Church of the Brethren in Hershey, Pa., received $5,000 toward a new roof and gutters for its parsonage, used for a Parsonage Ministry in partnership with Love INC of Greater Hershey. The ministry provides a “home away from home” for people whose loved ones are being treated for life-threatening illnesses at Penn State Hershey Medical Center. Use of the parsonage is offered at no cost to qualifying families. The ministry received a BFIA grant of $5,000 in 2019.

Ambler (Pa.) Church of the Brethren received $5,000 to help repair flood damage in its basement and fellowship hall, a space used in a partnership with the Interfaith Housing Alliance. The effort provides families experiencing homelessness and poverty a chance to regain self-sufficiency and stability by providing temporary shelter, food, and programs to promote independence. The church is one of several that provide shelter and meals at least a month a year. The flooding was caused by two successive major storms last July. The damage is not expected to be covered by insurance.

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