Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger

Hunger in the Polls

Eighty percent of midterm election voters polled said that the presidential candidates' positions on hunger and poverty will influence their vote. Three out of five of these voters agreed that political candidates in 2006 did not focus enough on hunger and poverty. While many aspects of politics today are very frustrating, polls like this give me hope.

Television programs and newspaper graphics depict our country as neatly divided into red and blue states. Many Democrats think that Republicans want to kill all social safety nets and leave the poor and hungry to fend for themselves. Many Republicans think that Democrats want to stifle business's freedoms and pour money into large, inefficient government programs. The country is pretty evenly split between the two major parties right now, but four out of five voters agree that hunger and poverty are important issues for our leaders to address. Maybe we agree more than we think.

One of the biggest arguements against expanding government programs that fight poverty is that we currently have an enormous deficit, currently estimated at over $8 trillion. Nearly three-quarters of voters, though, believe that we should increase our efforts to reduce hunger and poverty regardless of the increase in federal expenditure. In the coming years, we will have to make some difficult choices to make in our federal budget. The vast majority of voters believe that we should ensure that hunger and poverty are issues too important to ignore, however, even in times of deficit.

Do poll questions sometimes influence repondents' answers? Certainly. Will other issues also impact voters' decisions? Of course. Still, as the parties struggle to work together and voters increasingly believe that partisanship drives Washington, it is helpful to remember that there are some issues that almost everyone believes are important. Like in any healthy democracy, we will have many competing ideas about how to reduce hunger and poverty. Most of us agree, though, that we need to increase our discussion and efforts in these areas.

Download exit_poll_hilores.pdf


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this topic was on my mind today. i was at a town hall meeting with my congressman Rick Larsen here in northwest washington state, and one major subject was the Farm Bill. and how even tho our region has a lot of agriculture, but none that are subsidized commodities, how we should not be quick to dismiss fair trade and to discount the domestic hunger and nutrition programs. progress is being made and we have time to write our congressmen and influence the upcoming Farm Bill, as long as we do it intelligently. for me, some time with Matt Newell-Ching has helped there too - he's held some awesome sessions on this matter in our region these past few weeks.

thanx for all you do. many in us in the work of extreme poverty, we need to educate ouselves and each other on the facts, so that these polls are based on substance rather than feelings. it's a moral and spiritual imparative that all are well-fed and taken care of . . . . my congressman is a man of action who works towards solutions so as to most situations everyone wins. and is a great proponent of our work for extreme poverty.

our prayer, dream, wish is that no child here or anywhere in the world should have to go to bed hungry. together in the Lord we can work to this end. surely it's His heart's desire too . . . .

stay close,

sammi =)

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