Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger

5 posts from May 2006

Prince Harry's New Interest

According to a recent London Times article, Prince Harry has decided to create his own charity to benefit orphans in Lesotho.  The idea for the organization, called Sentebale (which means Forget-me-not) comes from a combination of the good influence of his mother, a trip to southern Africa, and a new found friendship with Lesotho’s Prince Seeiso.  The culmination of these forces was strong enough to prompt Harry to break royal precedent by starting his own charitable organization, rather than donating to a preexisting one.

Princess Diana always paid special attention to the AIDS crisis, and when her son visited Lesotho, he was also touched.  His mother’s inspiration caused Harry to do something about all the pain and suffering he saw there.  He was especially affected by the children who become orphans as a result of the country’s depressing 37 year life expectancy.  While in Lesotho, Harry made contact with Prince Seeiso and the idea for Sentebale was born.  Harry’s first action was to make a documentary about the country, which raised enough money in Britain to start the charity.

According to Sentebale’s website, the organization will take over operations in Lesotho from the British Red Cross at the end of the summer.  The website also lists eleven objectives, including targeting hard to reach children like the country’s “Herd Boys” as well as abused and disabled children.  “Herd Boys” can be as young as 7 years and often leave home for months at a time to look after stock in wide pastures.  UNICEF says that in Lesotho about 20% of school age boys work full time as “Herd Boys,” which causes both their intellectual and formal education to suffer.  Sentebale also strives to work through “community based groups and organizations” and “traditional structures,” which would give the people in Lesotho a significant role in improving the situation in their country.

The organization seems to be much needed in a tiny and often forgotten nation.  It’s always great to see a celebrity like Prince Harry use his influence to do something great for the developing world. 

Two Great June Events!

There are two wonderful events coming up in June that I would like to invite you to attend.

June 13 is Bread for the World's annual Lobby Day.  People of faith and conscience from all over the United States will be gathering in Washington, DC, to participate in Lobby Day. This event provides an opportunity for BFW members and others to lobby their members of Congress directly on issues that affect hungry and poor people.

June 26-28 is Call to Renewal's Petecost 2006: Building A Covenant for a New America.  Join Rev. Jim Wallis and hundreds of grassroots and faith-based anti-poverty leaders for three days of putting faith into action through workshops, Hill visits, inspiring speeches, and music, with the goal of building the political will to overcome poverty!  Find out about the emerging leaders track here, Download pentecost_06_el_track_flyer.pdf.

I hope to see you in DC in June!

Birmingham Campuses Awarded

Birmingham campuses are rockin' these days!  Three campuses, Miles College, Birmingham Southern College, and Samford University all located in Birmingham, AL have created Bread for the World chapters and were recently awareded for their great work by the local BFW group.  Check out these pictures!

Birmingham_group Students from Miles College, Birmingham Southern College and Samford University honored by the local Bread for the World group in Birmingham, AL for starting campus chapters.

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Please Call Your Senator Today

I know it's finals time, but if you need a 5-minute break from all the studying/writing/testing, please call your Senator with the message below.  It's really important.  Drop me a line and let me know how the call goes.  Thanks so much!

Bread For The World QUICKLINE
Sign-on to DeWine-Feinstein letter

Please call your Senator by Friday, May 5, at 1-800-826-3688, and ask him/her to sign the DeWine-Feinstein letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee leaders. Foreign operations should be funded no lower than the president’s request of $23.7 billion.

[Note: This special, toll-free number will go directly to the Capitol switchboard, where you will ask to be connected to your member’s office in order to leave your message.]

The following Senators have already signed this letter.  If one of them is your Senator, you can call and thank them for signing the letter.  Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Mike DeWine (R-OH), Christopher Dodd (D-CT), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Tim Johnson (D-SD), John Kerry (D-MA), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Carl Levin (D-MI), Patty Murray (D-WA), Rick Santorum (R-PA), John Sununu (R-NH), George Voinovich (R-OH)

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Sodas to be Removed from Schools

So we've all heard the correlation made between childhood obesity and the overconsumption of sugary drinks (among many other factors such as poor nutrition, lack of exercise,etc.). Well, as far as sodas are concerned, it looks like the beverage industry is listening because a Washington Post article
reported today that the industry is "voluntarily removing high-calorie soft drinks from all schools". (This does not include diet drinks)

This is great news! Even though it does not mean that students will entirely stop consuming sodas, it is a good step forward in at least reducing the temptation during the day. Of course, nutrition education and exercise needs continued emphasis in schools.

Sugary Drinks To Be Pulled From Schools
Industry Agrees to Further Limit Availability to Children

By Caroline E. Mayer
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 3, 2006; D01

The beverage industry is scheduled to announce today that it is voluntarily removing high-calorie soft drinks from all schools.

In an agreement to be announced by former president Bill Clinton, Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) and the head of the American Heart Association, the industry also will limit the amount of other sugary beverages, such as fruit drinks, in school vending machines. But diet soft drinks will continue to be sold in high schools that allow such products.

The agreement sets different rules for elementary schools, middle schools and high schools and comes at a time when the beverage industry is under increasing pressure to limit sales of its least healthful products in schools. Many local jurisdictions, including the District and Montgomery and Fairfax counties, have limited the sale of soda in school. Some state legislatures are also pressing for restrictions; last year, California passed a law banning soft drinks in school, effective next year.

The agreement calls for eliminating sales of sodas, diet sodas, sports drinks, juice drinks, apple juice or grape juice in elementary schools. Water and more healthful juices such as orange juice could continue to be sold, but in only eight-ounce or smaller containers, according to sources who were briefed yesterday. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the plan had not yet been announced.

In middle schools, the same drinks will be offered but in containers as large as 10 ounces.

In high schools, the drink size will be limited to 12 ounces. No sugary sodas will be sold, and half the drinks offered will be water or a low-calorie beverage, such as diet soda, diet lemonade or diet iced tea. Sports drinks will be allowed, as will juice drinks as long as they have fewer than 100 calories per serving.

Cadbury Schweppes PLC, Coca-Cola Co., PepsiCo Inc. and the American Beverage Association have all signed onto the deal, Jay Carson, a spokesman for former President Clinton, told the Associated Press last night.

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