Blessings in a Backpack program receives grant

Blessings in a Backpack program of Oswego-Fulton Lutheran-Episcopal Faith Partnership received a $5,000 challenge grant from the Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Foundation.

The money was awarded to the program based on its effectiveness in addressing physical, emotional and/or spiritual needs in the local area based on Jesus’ words in Matthew 25: 35-36.

For every dollar raised from donors between Dec. 1, 2013 and March 31, 2014, the Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Foundation provided an additional 50 cents — up to $5,000 — in support of the organization’s ministry.

“We are delighted to assist Lutheran Mission Society through this grant,” said Richard Kleven, vice president of the Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Foundation. “We trust that this support will strengthen the Blessings in a Backpack outreach to those it serves.”

The “Blessings in a Backpack” program provides impoverished elementary school children food to eat on the weekends during the school year.

Working with the schools to identify those in need, the Faith Partnership is  providing healthy weekend meals to 100 students in Fulton and Oswego.

“Many families whose children receive reduced or free lunches in school may need assistance with meals on the weekends. Thanks to the support of the community, and the Thrivent Grant we will  be able to add another 50 students in the next school year,” said the Rev. Richard Klafehn of he Oswego-Fulton Luteran-Episcopal Faith Partnership.

“The Blessings in a Backpack program is another way in which we reach out to the youth of our community to help them reach their true potential,” Klafehn said.

Partnered in faith since 2011, the Oswego-Fulton Lutheran-Episcopal Faith Partnership includes Prince of Peace in Fulton,  Grace Lutheran and the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in Oswego.   Klafehn and assistant pastor, the Rev. Anne Wichelns, share ministerial duties at the three churches.

Thrivent Financial for Lutherans is a faith-based financial services membership organization helping its nearly 2.5 million members to be wise with money and to live generous lives.

Thrivent Financial and its affiliates offer a broad range of financial products and services. As a nonprofit organization, Thrivent Financial joins with its members to create and support national outreach programs and activities that help congregations, schools, charitable organizations and individuals in need.

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