Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger

13 posts from October 2005

Keep the Conversation Going

As the immense natural disasters in the Gulf Coast fade away into old news and more new tragedies surface in Asia and South America, its easy to forget the long-term impact on the people and regions involved. A New York Times article touches on this subject, bringing up both sides of the argument concerning poverty in America and Hurricane Katrina:

As Hurricane Katrina put the issue of poverty onto the national agenda, many liberal advocates wondered whether the floods offered a glimmer of opportunity. The issues they most cared about - health care, housing, jobs, race - were suddenly staples of the news, with President Bush pledged to "bold action."

But what looked like a chance to talk up new programs is fast becoming a scramble to save the old ones.

Conservatives have already used the storm for causes of their own, like suspending requirements that federal contractors have affirmative action plans and pay locally prevailing wages. And with federal costs for rebuilding the Gulf Coast estimated at up to $200 billion, Congressional Republican leaders are pushing for spending cuts, with programs like Medicaid and food stamps especially vulnerable....

But many conservatives see logic, not irony, at work. If the storm exposed great poverty, they say, it also exposed the problems of the very policies that liberals have supported.

Both valid arguments. Regardless, the conversation needs to continue. What do you all think?

(Check out the article at this link)

MDG Pizza!!

I loved the idea of the ice cream Sundae with MDG toppings!  Such a clever way to educate people--- AND yummy too!  So in thinking about this... I have a suggestion for a main course:

Cook a pizza, and divide it up to represent the US Budget.  Each slice would be a different size, with the following proportions (and labeled):

Social Security: 20.9%

National Defense: 19.1%

Other Manditory: 17%

Non-Defense Discretionary: 16.1%

Midicare: 11.9%

Medicaid: 7.7%

Interest on Debt: 7.3%

Poverty Focused Development Assistance: 0.39%

And what would people get to eat?  of course only the poverty focused development assistance sliver of 0.39%, which would leave us all feeling very hungry.  Much like the real world.  Our lack of assistance leaves billions of people hungry.  Several of the pieces of pizza like the defense budget could be shared to make the Poverty Focused Development Assistance portion of the pizza a larger slice of the pie! The ONE campaign and Bread's new 2006 campaign is working to make that small piece of pizza a bit larger!  A good website for more detailed info on the budget and further links is: http://www.federalbudget.com/

Vision of Freedom

My devotion the other day offered an interesting and challenging new perspective for me on a Bible passage.  I'm using a wonderfu devotional book called, Sacred Journeys: A Woman’s Book of Daily Prayer by Jan L. Richardson.  The Bible passage is from Exodus 15:19-21.

19When the horses of Pharaoh with his chariots and his chariot drivers went into the sea, the LORD brought back the waters of the sea upon them; but the Israelites walked through the sea on dry ground. 20Then the prophet Miriam, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand; and all the women went out after her with tambourines and with dancing. 21And Miriam sang to them: ‘Sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously; horse and rider he has thrown into the sea.’

The reflection highlighted that while Miriam was rejoicing the women on the other side of the sea were weeping – these are the women whose husbands, brothers, and sons were chariot drivers for Pharaoh and were killed during this event.  The question from this reflection asked:

How will it become possible for us to share a common vision of freedom – one in which all may live?

Before reading this reflection, I had never once thought about people left behind on the other side.  This question gave me a lot of food for thought.  Americans often use the term freedom so loosely, but do we stop to think about other people or countries we’re affecting by our so-called freedom? At what expense are we claiming our freedom?  Is it freedom if we’re destroying land or communities?  If we do want a vision of freedom where all can live, does it mean we all must sacrifice?  What type of sacrifices?  Individualism?  Materialism?  As you can see this simple question has got my mind whirling - I don’t have the answers, but I think it’s a worthy topic to discuss at greater length!

Continue reading "Vision of Freedom" »

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