By Sr. Sally Burk. Hunger Network Ohio was selected as a grant recipient in 2016.

The Hunger Network in Ohio is a faith-based network of advocates who believe we can end hunger by addressing the root causes of poverty through public policy. The Hunger Network is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church’s State Public Policy Office Network.

The Hunger Network seeks to be a network connecting people of faith to issues concerning Christ’s mandate to do unto others as we would do unto him. Its Board of Directors includes people of various faiths and from the three synods in Ohio. Its office is upstairs from the offices of the Southern Ohio Synod. This allows for a close relationship with the Synod, Bishop Suzanne Darcy-Dillahunt, and her staff on advocacy.

The Hunger Network’s ministry is more than just relating to hunger. They are involved with efforts to fight homelessness, poverty, hunger, and expand access to housing for all Ohioans. Its director, Deacon Nick Bates, meets with legislators regularly. He challenges legislators to become aware of how their policies can benefit or hinder the needs of people. Recently, Nick and his team have been in conversation with members of the Ohio Statehouse regarding health care. They shared their concern for all to have affordable health care.

Nick is a resource person for the Southern Ohio Synod’s Hunger and Advocacy Task Forces and with Lutheran Social Service people. He speaks at Conferences and cluster gatherings of the Ohio Synod. He welcomes opportunities to visit congregations to share what the Hunger Network is doing and how they can become involved.