Welcome to our blog series—At the Table: Baptist Fight Hunger!
By Chuck Arney
Four years ago, the people of Cornerstone Church in Lee’s Summit, a suburb of Kansas City, began a nonprofit called “Coldwater.” Coldwater was launched out of a desire to be present in the lives of the hurting in our city.
Being a suburban church, we were shocked to discover the number of people living in poverty in our area. And the numbers are rising every year. According the Brookings Institute, there are now more people living below the poverty level in the suburbs than in the cities.
Cornerstone decided to create the nonprofit Coldwater for three reasons:
1. We believe the Kingdom of God extends far beyond the reach and scope of the local church and into the whole city in which we live.
2. The “church” is limited in its ability to form partnerships with schools, businesses, and public agencies. A nonprofit can reach far deeper into the community.
3. The scope of local issues is far greater than any one church can manage.
Coldwater’s board is made up half of Cornerstone members and half of people from the community, some Christians, some not. Through Coldwater, we service the needs of around 1000 families.
We provide backsnacks of food for hungry children over the weekends. During the summer, we provide daily lunches. Twice a month we provide groceries, a hot meal, and clothing to over 300 families.
We deliver groceries to over 60 senior or disabled adults twice a month. We go to pockets of hungry in our city with a bar-b-que wagon and serve weekly meals. We conduct city wide awareness and fundraising events that involve thousands of people that we then educate concerning the problems of suburban hunger.
Over 1000 volunteers from around the city join us every year to make this happen.
All of this is done with a strong theological underpinning.
We believe that God’s Kingdom is inviting us to join with all the people of our city to bring His Kingdom on earth, in our city, as it is in heaven. We seek to break down ethnic, religious, and economic boundaries through building mutual friendships.
Coldwater does not have volunteers and “clients.” We just have friends who share together in life. In doing that we find God together.
See additional information about the state of hunger in Jackson County, Mo., courtesy of Map the Meal Gap, a project of Feeding America. Check out statistics for your area with this interactive online tool.