STEP: Steps Toward Eliminating Poverty is the name of the new anti-hunger, anti-poverty program of the Diocese of Joliet’s Peace and Social Justice Ministry. Four key aspects or “steps” in the struggle against poverty are included in STEP … prayer, education, charity and justice.
Basic Program Design
- the project involves more than a "walk" to relieve hunger – rather, a "progressive event" moving from church to church in the local area (much like Good Friday public Stations of the Cross or Advent "Las Posadas" rituals)
- ecumenical collaboration with other local denominations is encouraged.
- use of prayers and songs during the walk and/or at church stops
- brief education about hunger and poverty issues (local and global) at some of the church stops … e.g., displays, quizzes, short videos, contests (a great way to involve youth groups!) … a different country or issue might serve as the event’s theme or focus each year
- opportunity for a simple closing meal (e.g., from Operation Rice Bowl recipes) and/or advocacy about hunger/poverty at the final church stop (using Bread for the World materials, postcards about legislative bills, etc.)
- pledges for those participating in the event, and funds possibly raised at stops along the way would be distributed as follows:
- 25% to local food pantries and needs
- 75% for global needs will be donated to Catholic Relief Services, for their projects in agriculture, health, education, micro-enterprise, etc. in over 80 countries around the world. Eventually, if the program develops ecumenically, other organizations working for hunger relief or on related justice issues (such as Bread for the World or Heifer International) may be included in the distribution of the global donations.
- in areas where participating churches are physically too far apart for all to serve as stops along the walk, the local food pantries, schools and community organizations may consider participating as stops or stations for the event
- finally, the project as designed is flexible enough to address hunger relief one year, and perhaps related issues such as health care, homelessness, poverty in general, etc. in following years
Download printable S.T.E.P. brochures
Upcoming STEP Events:
All Saints Catholic Academy in Naperville - October 3
For further information please contact Maribeth Meaux email or phone 815-834-4028