Presbyterian Disaster Assistance and Hunger Program
Whenever and wherever there is a tragedy, the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) and Hunger Program (PHP) are there to help. These groups are part of the Compassion, Peace and Justice Ministry of the Presbyterian Church and serve all people, regardless of ethnicity, religion or political belief.

The Presbyterian Church remains neutral with its financial backing. The organization does not support its programs with federal funding. Rather, the Disaster Assistance and Hunger Program are funded mainly by a yearly congregation offering the “One Great Hour of Sharing.” Although the PDA and PHP are run by the same organization, they each serve different functions for those in need.

The Presbyterian Disaster Assistance program focuses on bringing emergency and refugee services to communities impacted by catastrophe. If resettlement is deemed necessary, the PDA ensures that these people find homes in the United States. Staff members and volunteers work with the Action by Churches Together (ACT Alliance) and these communities to implement training and preparation strategies for future disasters and assist in-home repairs and other forms of sustainable development.

The other half of this important organization, the Presbyterian Hunger Program, works to distribute healthy and “culturally appropriate” foods to people all over the world who are food insecure. PHP raises awareness about how our everyday actions can have a global impact. According to the Hunger Program, once Americans feel connected with impoverished communities, they will begin to comprehend the causes of hunger and malnutrition.

Although the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance and Hunger Program are part of a religious organization, the group maintains that it will help all types of people. By working with other organizations like United Nations, National Voluntary Agencies Active in Disaster, World Food Program, Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to ensure that those affected by catastrophe or hunger are reached.

– Mary Penn
Sources: InterAction, Presbyterian Mission Agency
Photo: Wired