On the front page of Outlook Dec. 13, The Post ran a piece by Roald Sagdeyev, "To Mars Together -- A Soviet Proposal." Mr. Sagdeyev, director of Moscow's Space Research Institute, contends that "to sustain the hopes that were raised at {the} summit, the Soviet Union and the United States need to work together on important scientific projects at the frontiers of knowledge."

Mr. Sagdeyev states that "this joint space effort would not only broaden the dialogue that is now underway but also bring a new dimension to it." He reasons that "if our dialogue remains based on arms control, then only military aspects will be involved, and we will have difficulty establishing the language of mutual understanding." He urges a joint mission to Mars.

I would like to advance another proposal with the same underlying objectives. The price tag for this project would be in the millions, not billions. The impact of this endeavor would be immediate. Like Mr. Sagdeyev's proposal, this plan is based on cooperation and would be underwritten by diverting defense dollars.

"Reaching for Peace: A Proposal" is authored by Rabbi Yitzhak Husbands-Hankin of Eugene, Ore. Rabbi Husbands-Hankin bases his plan on the Biblical imperative that we "turn our swords into plowshares." The concept calls for the superpowers to select a joint venture that both nations deem worthy for its humanitarian significance. Among the possibilities: famine relief; agricultural development; the building of hospitals or schools.

The activity designated would receive extensive media coverage to emphasize that peace through cooperation is within our reach. The project would demonstrate that our resources can be channeled in ways more harmonious and constructive than building bombs.

Several months ago, with the guidance of a University of Oregon professor and a U.S. senator from Oregon, "Reaching for Peace" was brought to the attention of State Department officials. The response Rabbi Husbands-Hankin received was that though the proposal was compelling, the Soviet Union poses too dangerous a threat to attempt such a venture.

Perhaps, now, in the spirit of the summit it is time to percolate peaceful proposals. It is time to give careful consideration to such ideas as those of Rabbi Husbands-Hankin and Mr. Sagdeyev.

RICHARD STACK Executive Director Capital Area Community Food Bank Washington