James 2:14-18 “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”
In the late 1970’s at a school in Paterson, the children were not doing well. They were having a hard time concentrating, learning. Turns out they were HUNGRY. Their teacher Hugh Dunlop realized this. He went to his church – yes it is a United Methodist Church- and asked for help with a food collection for the students. Then the children in his class started asking for food for their brothers, sisters, parents and grandparents.
Food collection and distribution started in a closet! By 1985 CUMAC moved to an abandon church building and then in 1999 they purchased the 28,000 s/f building they are still in. The budget has grown too, to $1.4 million. ( If you include the value of in-kind food and volunteer time it would be over $4 million!)
CUMAC now is a six program agency. Not only do they provide food for those who are “food insecure” (about 30,000 people) they also have programs to help people prepare for and find a job. It is called Pathway to Work. Place of Promise is “a permanent, supportive housing program” helping people who are disabled and have often been homeless.
The Community Food Coalition and The Food Depot serve as a distribution/support center for smaller pantries in the area. Community Closet helps with disaster relief and other assistance (work wardrobes, house hold items, etc.)
With Jesus telling us over and over again we are to help others with the fundamentals of living and with CUMAC right here in our neighborhood ( a mere 6 miles from MP) AND with the fact that it was started by a Methodist and his Methodist Church (!) it is no wonder we are so involved with the mission of CUMAC!
April 23rd is CUMAC Sunday. Their big annual fund raiser. For years our donations were matched by an anonymous donor. That is no longer the case. So this year our donations need to go twice as far.
It is vital that we collect the foods that we do each Sunday. But with the cash donations CUMAC can buy a pound of food for .18 cents!!
This is an important Sunday fund raiser. It is what God wants us to do. Matthew 25: 31-46”‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, …”