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History of the Loretto Hunger Fund

Posted on December 20, 2023, by Loretto Community

A photo of an old publication that shows the words "stop hunger fund" next to a photo of a hand putting seeds into another hand
Screenshot of 1974 Interchange cover.

By Barbara Hagan

The Loretto Hunger Fund is able to grant funding to various groups that reach into the community to feed those who are less fortunate. These agencies serve the homeless, low-income people, immigrants, soup kitchens, etc. So many people do amazing things to help those who need to be fed.

At the 1974 Loretto Assembly a proposal was passed. A goal was established to raise $180,000 to start the “Stop Hunger Fund.” Sister Helen Sanders wrote in her cover letter with the assembly proceedings, “Through much discussion and prayer and in response to many pleas for a simpler lifestyle and a willingness to sacrifice and share, the assembly voted to propose to the entire Loretto Community an ongoing program with a goal of supplying a sum of $180,000 to help alleviate conditions in underdeveloped countries which are causing starvation to millions of human beings” (Interchange Sept. 1974). Sister Francis Jane O’Toole of Louisville, Ky., took on this challenge by trying to raise $90,000, to match the $90,000 given from the general fund of the Sisters of Loretto.

Each Interchange would give an update to the amount raised that month. By December 1975, $60,000 had been raised. Amounts varied from $100 to a couple thousand raised from personal donations, bake sales, raffles, school mission days, etc. Sister Cecily Jones helped to raise awareness at St. Pius School in St. Louis with the help of Sister Eileen Kersgieter during mission day to raise $1,500. Sister Susan Swain raised funds at the Lower School of Loretto in Kansas City using UNICEF boxes for trick or treating (UNICEF gave approval for funds to go to the Hunger Fund).

Individual sisters were asked to make donations from their personal budgets. By 1976 the goal of $90,000 was achieved! As time progressed the name was eventually changed to the “Hunger Fund” and Sister Cecily Jones was one of its leading members. The Hunger Fund meets annually to disperse available funds.

As we continue this important mission into the future, please remember the Hunger Fund with your kindness by making a donation to this great cause. It is a wonderful way to share our blessings during this time of Thanksgiving, Advent and Christmas.


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