Many Presbyterians are working hard to fight hunger and — even with poverty spreading — are optimistic about ending hunger in this country. They are not so optimistic, however, about ending hunger in other countries.
These are findings from the February 2010 Presbyterian Panel survey on hunger, peacemaking, and Sabbath-keeping.
About half of members (47 percent) and elders (50 percent) and three in five pastors (60 percent) and non-parish ministers (63 percent) "strongly agree" or "agree" that the problem of widespread hunger in the United States can be solved in the next 25 years.
In the past year more than nine in ten Presbyterians in all four groups have given food to a food pantry or other program that provides emergency food assistance to people in their community who need it. In addition, at least three-quarters have given money to an emergency food assistance program in their community, bought Fair Trade food (including coffee) that was produced outside the United States, or heard or given a sermon that addressed hunger or poverty.
"Presbyterians demonstrate their commitment to fighting hunger in the United States in many ways, most notably by supporting food pantries," said Perry Chang, Presbyterian Panel administrator.
On the other hand, only one in six members (16 percent) and elders (19 percent) and one-third of ministers (pastors, 37 percent; non-parish ministers, 37 percent) "strongly agree" or "agree" that the problem of widespread hunger throughout the world can be solved in the next 25 years.
Every three years the PC(USA) Research Services assembles representative samples of Presbyterian church members, elders, and ministers who respond to questions on different topics quarterly. Known as the Presbyterian Panel, these randomly chosen respondents provide a vital means for church leaders to learn the opinions of rank-and-file Presbyterians.
For more information about Panel surveys and other Research Services studies and services, visit the Research Services website or contact Research Services toll-free at (888) 728-7228, x5071, or by email.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) comprises more than 2 million members in more than 10,000 congregations, answering Christ's call to mission and ministry throughout the United States and the world. See more information at the PC(USA) website.