Filling area food pantries is chief concern this Sunday

Todd Seifert


The Great Plains Conference invites churches across Kansas and Nebraska to score big for the hungry in their communities as the NFL’s biggest game of the year prepares to kick off Sunday.
The bishops of the Great Plains and Missouri conferences have challenged the bishop who serves both the Greater New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania conferences to see which community whose teams are involved in Sunday’s Super Bowl can collect the most food to feed the hungry.
The Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles will play in the big game, and United Methodists will be working together from those two areas to ease suffering.
But there is a friendly competition set up as motivation. If the combined team of the Great Plains and Missouri conferences collect more food, then Bishop John Schol of the Greater New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania conferences will send Bishop David Wilson (Great Plains) and Bishop Bob Farr (Missouri) Tastykakes and Philadelphia cheesesteaks. If our friends in Eagles territory win, the bishops in the Kansas City area will have to pay up with Kansas City barbecue.
“There are very few things that people in the Great Plains and Missouri agree on, but one seems to be that Patrick Mahomes is a better quarterback than Jalen Hurts,” Bishop David Wilson joked while also pointing out the cause for celebration that the game will feature two Black starting quarterbacks for the first time. “The other is that no one should go to bed hungry. This weekend United Methodists in the Midwest have the opportunity to show their support for ending hunger and making sure we soundly defeat the EPA and GNJ conferences.”
Just like NFL teams have limited time for preparation, the Great Plains has limited time to collect the food — in fact, only until Sunday’s kickoff at 5:30 p.m. CT on Feb. 12. Congregations are encouraged to estimate the amount of food they collected in pounds this Sunday. Then, fill out this very short form or scan the QR code atop this story to provide your congregation’s total. Churches then are asked to deliver the food to a food pantry in their community at some point the week after the Super Bowl.

Bishop Schol welcomed the challenge from the Great Plains and Missouri.

“The United Methodists of Missouri and Kansas (Kansas City Chiefs fans) have the audacity to challenge the good people of EPA&GNJ in conjunction with this Sunday’s Super Bowl," Bishop Schol joked in a story published in the Greater New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania conferences. "Apparently, they think their football team is better and that they can collect more food for area food banks than we can.”
Our friends in the Philadelphia area have asked that the totals be submitted by kickoff, so we’ll also adhere to that rule. As part of the form, the conference communications staff then asks that you snap a photo (a cell phone image is fine) of what you’ve collected and upload it with the form so we can create a photo album.
“Congregations throughout the Great Plains do a wonderful job of serving their communities 52 weeks a year,” Bishop Wilson said. “Though this weekend brings a great opportunity to collect food as part of a fun competition, I hope United Methodist in Kansas and Nebraska will also continue looking for ways to address hunger in their communities on an ongoing basis.”

Contact Todd Seifert, conference communications director, at

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