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Church of Jesus Christ has spent ‘many millions of dollars’ on pandemic relief

SALT LAKE CITY — Pandemic-related humanitarian aid provided during the pandemic by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has now reached 137 countries, according to statements released Sunday on the church president’s social media accounts.

The church now has participated in 757 coronavirus relief projects across the globe, President Russell M. Nelson said.

“My dear friends, I thank you for your efforts and your contributions during this COVID-19 pandemic,” he said on Twitter.

“More time and effort will be required,” he added. “Together we will overcome this difficult time.”

In longer statements on Instagram and Facebook, he said the church has spent “many millions of dollars.”

President Nelson said earlier this summer that COVID-19 relief is “the largest-ever humanitarian project of the church” by any measure.

Previously, the largest published church relief expenditure was $11 million the church spent to support partners in famine throughout Africa in 2017.

“Where does all that relief come from?” President Nelson said in his longer statements on Sunday. “Mostly from our members. Voluntary fast offerings from our members have actually increased, as well as voluntary contributions to our humanitarian funds. Further, many members of the church have labored to render assistance to COVID-19 victims. They have prepared and provided personal protective gear for caregivers. Thousands of Relief Society sisters in many countries have made millions of masks.”

He also said the church and its members continue “to feed the hungry, assist refugees and labor to relieve damage caused by natural disasters, wherever they occur throughout the world.”

The church continues to send out an average of 15 extra truckloads of food every week, a spokesman confirmed. The church began the extra food shipments in March to help restock food pantries across the United States. Each truckload can feed 1,400 people for a week.

The church also has opened its meetinghouses and parking lots to food pantries and given away food from some of its farms.

The church’s pandemic-aid projects had grown to 481 projects in 115 countries near the end of May, including food, hygiene products, cash and other commodities By June 30, its pandemic relief had expanded to more than 630 projects in over 130 countries.

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