Good Competition Super Bowl Challenge

Inspired by the matchup between our Bengals and the LA Rams, United Methodists in Cincinnati and Los Angeles are teaming up for a “good competition” to address hunger in both cities. 

Todd Anderson, superintendent of the Ohio River Valley District and Mark Nakagawa, superintendent of the California-Pacific West District are all in, “100% for the good!”

Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow has used his platform to raise awareness of hunger in Ohio. Those discussions inspired local United Methodist leaders to think about inequality.

Single tickets for the Super Bowl are listed online starting around $6000, not including travel and accommodations. The American Gaming Association estimates that Americans bet over $4 billion a year on the Super Bowl alone. 

“In light of the huge spending around the Super Bowl, we are mindful of how many people in Los Angeles and Cincinnati worry about whether they can afford their next meal,” says David Meredith, pastor of Clifton United Methodist Church and Urban Ministries director of the Ohio River Valley District of the UMC. 

Donations are being listed and reported in a Google form, which will be tallied by United Methodists from both cities after the game to determine a "winner".

Westwood United Methodist Church in Cincinnati has connected with Westwood United Methodist Church in Los Angeles, to exchange hunger relief strategies, and perhaps a bit of NFL trash talk. 

Actions that are emerging include: asking Super Bowl party guests to bring items for a food drive, asking the organizers of a betting pool to set aside a donation, or taking a collection at a watch party. 

“The real Super Bowl competition is to outdo one another in doing all the good we can for those who struggle to put adequate, healthy food on their table,” says Pastor David Meredith. 

Who DEY! Go Cincinnati! Beat the Rams!
Go United Methodists! Beat hunger!