Photo: Wade Mays (right), development associate for the Society of St. Andrews, presents a plaque to Wayne Custer, president of Northeastern Jurisdiction of United Methodist Men representing the West Virginia Annual Conference. The conference received the award for the largest percentage increase in giving to Meals for Millions
NASHVILLE, Tenn. –– United Methodist Men gave $168,196 to Meals for Millions in 2010, a mission project begun by the men in 1989 to raise funds for the Society of St. Andrew’s potato and produce project.
Wade Mays, an executive with the society, told the National Association of Conference Presidents, meeting March 3-6 in Nashville, that they had increased their 2010 giving by some $4,000, the first increase in several years.
Mays presented two awards, to annual conference representatives:
West Virginia Conference increased its giving by the highest percentage, by leaping from $4,684 in 2009 to $17,195 in 2010. “We just found the right two guys to lead the effort,” said Wayne Custer, president of the Northeastern Jurisdiction of UM Men and a resident of the state.
The award for the highest amount given to Meals for Millions went to Detroit Annual Conference with a gift of $20,741.
“I worked on a staff at a large church for seven years,” said Mays, “but I had not done one thing to help the poor in America. I had led a mission trip to Mexico and gone a trip to Kazakhstan, but I had not turned my nose to those here. I think we need to do both.
“There are 49 million people who are what the USDA calls ‘food insecure,’ said Mays. “These are the ones who have to choose between paying for heating oil and buying food.”
Mays told the men that 50 percent of the food produced in our country goes to waste. The Society of St Andrew exists to see that food waste at the farm level comes to an end and that instead of the perfectly edible foot that is left behind on American farms goes to feed our hungry neighbors.”
Top ten conferences giving to Meals for Millions
West Virginia $17195
Northern Illinois $14,933
Balt-/Washington $ 9,898
Central Pa. $ 7,857
North Carolina $ 6,917
Missouri $ 6,145
West Ohio $ 4,908
Meals for Millions is Advance Special mission project of the United Methodist Church # 982225-8.