Wellington Food Bank receives $5,000 Thrivent Financial grant

The Wellington Food Bank, a ministry of Zion Lutheran Church, recently received a $5,000 Lutheran Community Economic Outreach Bridge Grant from the Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Foundation. The funding was awarded to the food bank based on its mission, financial stability, effectiveness in addressing basic food needs, use of volunteers and creativity.

“Not only are we grateful for this grant, but we now have a rare opportunity to tap into a potential additional grant of up to $10,000,” said Pastor Mark Gabbert of Zion, who serves as the director of the food bank.

Organizations receiving the initial grant are also eligible to participate in an additional $10,000 challenge grant in which funds raised by the organization will be matched by the Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Foundation dollar for dollar.

An additional $10,000 in funding would help carry the food bank — which currently is providing food boxes to about 80 families twice monthly — for several years.

A recent $2,433 donation from the Wellington Chamber of Commerce will be matched by Thrivent. The chamber raised the money at their recent annual dinner and meeting via a silent auction of donated goods and services.

Zion Lutheran Church, which distributes food from the gym at Wellington Community Church on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month (the first and third Tuesdays in December), was one of 81 Lutheran organizations and congregations selected to receive funding as part of the final phase of a pilot program.

To date, the Economic Outreach Bridge Grant pilot has provided support to 217 ministries resulting in approximately 2.9 million dollars in grants and funds raised.

“Difficult economic conditions and high unemployment rates have caused many Americans to seek support for basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter from local nonprofits,” said Kathy Larson, grants program manager for the Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Foundation. “This grant pilot was designed to help effective organizations maintain their financial stability in the face of increased demand on their resources.”

Local families in need of food can contact Gabbert at 970-776-6763 or by email at markgabbert58@hotmail.com.

Individuals, businesses, or organizations interested in making a donation — which will be matched dollar-for-dollar by Thrivent — are asked to do so before the end of January, 2012.

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