Bread and Wheaton College Highlight U.S. Poverty with Campus Event
By Zach Schmidt
Recently, I worked with student leaders and professors at Wheaton College, which is just outside of Chicago, Ill., to put together an event that raised awareness of hunger and poverty in our nation.
More than sixty people participated in an April 9 viewing of The Line, a documentary that looks at poverty in America, and a post-screening talk on the themes explored in the film and the biblical mandate to help the poor. The event concluded in a panel discussion with Wheaton professors Jeremy Cook (economics) and George Kalantzis (theology). The Line profiles four Americans facing hunger and poverty, and one of the film's subjects lives in the school's backyard: single father John Lohmeier is a resident of DuPage County, which is where Wheaton is located.
Nicole Spewak of the Wheaton Record wrote an excellent piece on the event and in it she quotes one of the event’s leaders, who said the movie was an important eye-opener.
The students collected jars of peanut butter and jelly to take to the People’s Resource Center, the same food pantry that Lohmeier visited in The Line, and they signed Bread for the World's petition to the president and wrote letters to Congress.
“Poverty is something that affects the community around us very heavily, yet it is one that we often don’t see nearby while we are at Wheaton,” senior Zachary Stallard [...] said. “‘The Line’ really helps to put a face to that poverty, even in DuPage County, and to show that this is something that is all around us, and something that we can’t ignore, and that we have a biblical mandate not to ignore.”
Zach Schmidt is a Bread for the World regional organizer in the Central Hub, which includes Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska.
+If you're interested in hosting a similar viewing through your church, campus, or community group, check out our house meeting guide for tips or contact you regional organizer.
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