The demand on the welfare system of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has risen significantly, due to the downturn in the U.S. economy. But according to Dennis Lifferth, church director of Welfare Services, the system is well-equipped to handle the increasing needs of individuals encountering financial, unemployment or other difficulties.

The system is supported by the generous donations of 13 million church members throughout the world. Mormons fast, or skip two meals each month, and give the money they would have spent on the food (and often much more) to their local bishop. The money they give is called a "fast offering." The bishop then uses those funds to help members of his congregation, and others, who are in need.

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