Dottie Yunger serves as the associate pastor at St. Luke’s Mission Center/Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church, Washington, D.C. She earned her Master of Divinity in 2010 and Master of Theological Studies in 2011 from Wesley.
The Rev. Dottie Yunger is feeding the people who otherwise would be eating the fish caught in the contaminated Anacostia watershed. She says:
When I came to St. Luke’s Mission Center in 2013, area stores were donating 2,500 pounds of food a month. At the time, we didn’t have enough people to feed the 500 meals coming from those donations. Now we’re receiving 5,000 pounds and making 1,500 meals a month.
I credit this growth to the partnerships we’ve built with the food providers and with the churches in the neighborhoods where there is greatest need.
Our church is committed to caring for the communities disproportionately affected by how we’ve damaged the environment and creation. We prepare the food and the partner churches in Wards 7 and 8, which are the poorest sections of Washington, D.C., distribute it.
Church volunteers pick up the produce. College and seminary students volunteer to make the meals. We’ve added two part-time staff members to coordinate the volunteers and to help them understand how peeling potatoes is a meaningful worship experience.
Our church is partnering with the University of D.C. and Mount Vernon United Methodist Church. Together in the impoverished Anacostia neighborhood, we are setting up a food hub that includes an urban garden and fish farm. This food hub will provide jobs and be a living classroom for the area schools.
We are bringing the abundance from Northwest D.C. to the 70,000 people in a zip code where there’s only one grocery store. This is where hunger, poverty and reconciliation and sustainability issues intersect.