Hunger Justice Leaders: Jesus in the Public Square
When did Jesus speak out on behalf of the poor? He spoke in the synagogue. Jesus preached from a mountain. He addressed the issue with rich and poor. He spoke in small groups of disciples and large crowds. Jesus spoke in public on behalf of poor and hungry people.
Perhaps Jesus heard the call in Proverbs, 31:8-9, to: “Speak out for those who cannot speak, for the rights of all the destitute. Speak out, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
Unfortunately, poverty and hunger persist in the United States. More than 14 percent of American households struggle to put food on the table.
To most effectively combat hunger in the United States, we need all sectors involved. At the National Hunger Free Communities Summit last weekend, people representing the private, public, and nonprofit sectors came together to exchange methods of how to reduce hunger in our communities. Each of these sectors brings important gifts to the table.
If we’re serious about ensuring that our neighbors have access to food, we need to acknowledge and strengthen the role the public sector has to play. Each year, all the charities in the country only provide for 6 percent of the amount of food that poor people receive from federal programs like food stamps and school lunches. If we are to continue preaching good news to the poor, then we need to make sure that our voices are heard by the government that public support for food for hungry people is essential.
Bread for the World has been a voice for poor and hungry people for decades. We invite ministers around the age of Jesus during his ministry (40 years and younger) to join us in June for the 2012 Hunger Justice Leaders Training: From the Pulpit to the Public Sphere. We believe you can walk in Jesus’ footsteps and lead the cause to end hunger in the United States by speaking from the pulpit and in the public square. Join us. Visit our website to learn more and apply by Friday, March 30.
Kate Hagen is the Hunger Report Project Assistant. Read her conclusion for this year's Hunger Report.
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