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New “bread banks” help collect money for world hunger

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP)–New banks shaped like loaves of bread are encouraging Southern Baptists across the country to raise a little dough for the World Hunger Fund.

In past years, plastic rice bowls collected the donations but those who used them will remember the China-manufactured items were difficult to reuse and sometimes hard to open. In contrast, the new bread banks are produced by a Southern Baptist family in Oregon, are reusable and are very easy to open.

Pat Tiller, former president for Northwest Woman’s Missionary Union, and her husband, Dwayne, own a plastics manufacturing company that was one of several companies submitting bids to make the banks.

“The benefits are twofold,” Tiller said. “We wanted to help WMU have a product they could sell at an affordable price, and we wanted to help the world hunger cause by instilling a desire in peoples’ hearts to give.”

The cause isn’t new to Tiller’s family. Dwayne has been on several mission trips to Honduras, where he helped install water pumps to provide impoverished people with clean drinking water. Because of their involvement in Southern Baptist missions, the couple has seen firsthand the benefits of the World Hunger Fund.

Since 1974, Southern Baptists have given more than $230 million to support the hunger and relief ministries of their missionaries and volunteers at home and abroad. Because overhead and personnel expenses are covered through other budgets, 100 percent of contributions to the Southern Baptist World Hunger Fund go directly for hunger relief.

Input from the Alabama Baptist Convention, which created a version of the bread bank in 2008 and distributed 40,000 to churches across that state, was extremely helpful in shaping the current design manufactured by the Tillers, said Kristy Carr, a ministry consultant for national WMU. Each reusable loaf-shaped bank is made of FDA-approved plastic with a removable lid for easy use.

Kaye Miller, national WMU president, and Wanda Lee, the organization’s executive director/treasurer, first introduced the banks at the 2009 Southern Baptist Convention in Louisville, Ky., where several hundred were given away to convention attendees. This year’s World Hunger Sunday, set for Oct. 11, is the first time churches across the country will use the new banks. WMU has teamed up with Baptist Global Response, the North American Mission Board, LifeWay Christian Resources, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and Baptist Press to promote the banks.

The banks are sold by Woman’s Missionary Union in quantities of 50 for $49.99, and are available exclusively at www.wmustore.com.
Jessie Gable writes for Woman’s Missionary Union SBC. For help promoting World Hunger Sunday in your church or small group, visit worldhungerfund.com.

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  • Jessie Gable