Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger
 

23 posts categorized "Hunger Justice Leaders"

Meet Your Lobby Day Participants: Ellen and Al Fisher

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Ellen and Al Fisher from Cedar Rapids, IA, are attending Bread for the World's 2012 Lobby Day.

Q: What brought you to Lobby Day?

Al Fisher (AF): This is our fourth Lobby Day. We came to Lobby Day in 2007, 2009, 2011, and now 2012.

Q: Why do you commit your time and resources to come to Lobby Day?

Ellen Fisher (EF): We both feel strongly that this is a vital part of our faith. I hope to persuade the government to adopt programs to end hunger, and we hope to influence the political process and encourage greater generosity towards the poor.

Q: Are you seeing signs of poverty of hunger in your community in Cedar Rapids?

EF: Our church provides free Sunday night meals and we meet people who come back for four or five servings, and they look to me as people who live on the fringes. 

AF: The unemployment rate is lower than the national average, but there is still a lot of hunger and poverty there. 

Q: What do you hope to tell your members of Congress when you meet with them today?

AF: That they shouldn't cut federal nutrition programs and cut the budget on the backs of the poor. We met with a staffer last year who said that times are tough and everybody's gotta have skin in the game, but it seems unfair that 60 percent of the cuts are coming from programs for the poor.

EF: Right, saying you have to have skin in the game is one thing, but 60 percent of the cuts isn't having skin in the game, it's getting amputated!

Q: Why is hunger an important issue for you?

AF: When we adopted our two kids from South Korea, our son came into the care of the adoption agency and a very nice caring foster family the day after he was born, and then we adopted him. But our daughter had a difficult first 14 months before we adopted her, during which she was very sick and hungry. When we adopted her, at meals, she would eat with food in one hand and food in another hand. She had known hunger, so this is a personal issue for us.

Photo caption: Al Fisher and Ellen Fisher at Bread for the World's Lobby Day on June 12, 2012.

From the Pulpit to the White House! Hunger Justice Leaders Tweet with the Office of Public Engagement

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Hunger Justice Leaders gathered in front of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on June 11, 2012 after meeting with senior White House officials. Photo by Laura Elizabeth Pohl/Bread for the World.

After two days of anti-hunger advocacy training, Bread for the World’s Hunger Justice Leaders had an opportunity to engage in a lively discussion this morning with senior-level White House officials during a briefing at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House grounds.

Participants spoke with Joshua Dubois of the Office of Faith Based Initiatives, Martha Coven from the Office of Management and Budget, and Paul Monteiro and Jon Carson from the White House Office of Public Engagement — just to name a few. The Hunger Justice Leaders heard from the administration about President Oabama's approach to ending hunger, and had the chance to test some of their new advocacy skills on high-ranking officials.

After the meeting, several lucky Hunger Justice Leaders continued the discussion as they joined Jon Carson in his office for a live tweet-up from the West Wing!

See the blog post below for some of the tweets from today’s chat, and thanks to the White House, the Hunger Justice Leaders, and all of you who participated to make this day a great success.

Kristen-youngbloodKristen Youngblood Archer is media relations specialist at Bread for the World.


Hunger Justice Leaders Visit the White House to Advocate for Hungry People

Can't Come to Washington, DC for Lobby Day? Participate Virtually!

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During our Lobby Day tomorrow, Bread for the World members will personally deliver petitions to Congress that oppose the view that churches are solely responsible for feeding hungry and poor people. More than 30,000 people of faith signed these petitions.

Even if you can’t join us in person, you can participate in our virtual Lobby Day. Here’s how:

  • Call your members of Congress using our special toll-free number: 1-800-826-3688.
  • Tell them you’re a Bread for the World member.
  • Ask them to create a circle of protection around funding for programs vital for hungry and poor people in the United States and around the world.

Here’s what else you can say:

  • Form a circle of protection around the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) as you work on the farm bill. (The Senate will vote on the farm bill this week, and the House will soon follow).
  • Protect domestic and international anti-hunger and anti-poverty programs by supporting the Senate’s overall discretionary funding level for fiscal year 2013. Members of Congress agreed to this number last summer, and they must stick to this deal to prevent harmful cuts to these programs.
  • Take a comprehensive approach to deficit reduction, including revenues in addition to spending cuts. Without a comprehensive deficit-reduction package that includes revenues, programs for hungry and poor people will face severe cuts.

The timing of your call and our visits to Congress couldn’t be more critical. The budget decisions before Congress this year will severely impact our efforts to end hunger and poverty. Please call Congress today at 1-800-826-3688!

Photo caption: Bread for the World members will be hand-delivering the petitions that Bread members signed to tell Congress that churches cannot be the only ones responsible for feeding poor and hungry people. There were a total of 34,555 signatures. Photo by Matt Newell-Ching.

Update: Hunger Justice Leaders Training

Hunger 101: Play Jeopordy and Test Your Hunger Knowledge

Want to play a game that tests your knowledge of some of the basics about hunger? Play Hunger 101 Jeopordy. Created by Bread organizers for our Hunger Justice Leaders event, this interactive and fun game teaches you some of the basic facts about hunger.

 

Meet Your Hunger Justice Leaders: Natasha and Erika

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Erika Carranza (left) and Natasha Bisbal (right) at Bread for the World's Hunger Justice Leaders training in Washington, DC on June 9, 2012.

Natasha Bisbal, Brooklyn, NY

Q: Why did you want to be a Hunger Justice Leader?

A: My mentor told me about this opportunity and I decided to apply. I want to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. I know this sounds cheesy, but I want to change the world, and I don't know how I'm going to do this, but I am going to figure it out.

Q: What are some of the difficulties that people in your community face?

A: The loss of jobs, crime, broken families, and drug abuse. Pretty much anything you can think of in New York City. But I want to shed light on these issues and bring a positive light to the community so young people in my community can have a brighter future.

Erika Carranza, Santa Ana, CA

Q: What brought you to the Hunger Justice Leaders training?

A: I work at Templo Calvario in Santa Ana, CA, as a missions coordinator and my pastor Lee de León told me, "If you're gonna work for me, you gotta go" [laughing]. But I am excited to see what the Lord does. The people at my church sometimes sees missions as a foreign thing, but I want to show people that missions needs to take place here in our community. I want to focus on home missions in our community.

Q: What are you first impressions of Washington, DC?

A: I love it. Flying in and seeing all the green compared to L.A. was really great. I walked along the Mall. My shoes were killing me, but it was beautiful.

 

Live Tweet Up With the White House! #BreadRising

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We're just two days away from the Hunger Justice Leaders training here in Washington, and we have some exciting news. This Monday, the Hunger Justice Leaders will head to the White House for what is sure to be a lively and engaging discussion with senior-level officials ... but it doesn't stop there! Immediately following the meeting, we will all have an opportunity to ask any of our burning questions about hunger and poverty during a live Tweet Up with Jon Carson, director of the White House Office of Public Engagement.

As we prepare for this event, we would like to encourage you to follow @Bread4theWorld on Twitter, if you aren't already, and to use the hashtag #BreadRising throughout the weekend and all day Monday. Next, here are some sample tweets you may want to consider sending before and during the Tweet Up: 

  • Excited for @bread4theworld's Hunger Justice Leaders training and our tweetup with the White House's @JonCarson44! #BreadRising
  • Dear @JonCarson44, how does the White House hope to help hungry people in the U.S.? #BreadRising
  • @JonCarson44 What policies can you point to that are efforts from the W.H. to alleviate poverty in the U.S.? #BreadRising
  • @JonCarson44: If @BarackObama is reelected, what will he do in his last term for hungry and poor people in the U.S. and around the world? #BreadRising

It’s never too early to start tweeting using the #BreadRising hashtag! This is the same hashtag we will use during the White House Tweet Up on Monday as well.

We will keep you posted about the Tweet Up on Monday.


Come With Us To Capitol Hill! #BreadRising

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Photo by Flickr user  timlewisnm

Normally over the weekend, Bread for the World's Washington, DC, offices are quiet and vacant, but not this weekend.  This weekend the sounds of worship and action will fill our halls as we host the 2012 Hunger Justice Leaders: From the Pulpit to the Public Square.

Starting this Saturday, June 9, 75 young religious leaders will participate in a three-day anti-hunger advocacy training with Bread staff. Workshops will include learning the root causes of hunger, how to do an Offering of Letters in your congregation, exploring the biblical basis for justice, and using social media to influence Congress -- just to name a few.

You can follow along through our social media channels (Find Bread on Facebook and Twitter). Participants and staff will be tweeting using the hashtag #BreadRising.  Join us, ask questions, and encourage these young leaders with notes of support.  If you are not on Twitter, we will be posting a few updates on our Facebook account and of course will be doing roundups of all the action here on the Bread Blog.

Finally, Bread’s annual Lobby Day is on Tuesday, June 12. Participants will be posting pictures of their meetings with Congress as they deliver the petitions that many of you signed telling Congress that churches alone cannot be solely responsible for feeding hunger people.

Even if you are not in DC for Lobby Day, your voice is needed and powerful.  Call your senator and representatives on Tuesday and ask them to create a circle of protection around funding for programs that are vital to hungry and poor people in the U.S. and around the world. Check out our blog Tuesday for the latest updates.

You can even go one step further and help us make sure that as the budget is negotiated, issues that affect people who are poor and hungry are part of the national dialogue.  Most members of Congress have a presence on Facebook and Twitter.  Let them know you care about these issues. For example if you are from Oregon you might tweet:

Dear @SenJeffMerkley please create a #circleofprotection around funding for programs that are vital to hungry and poor people #BreadRising

As one united body with many hands, #BreadRising will be heard throughout our nation’s capital.

Robin-stephensonRobin Stephenson is regional organizer at Bread for the World.

 

 

Pastor Smith Goes to Washington

120516-jimstewartFew people can forget the iconic 1939 film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. It is the story of Jefferson Smith, an idealistic, principled young man who is appointed to represent his home state in Washington, DC. When Mr. Smith arrives at Congress, however, he quickly finds those principles and ideals challenged. His fellow Senators dismiss and try to silence him, but in the end, through courage and tenacity he stands his ground and holds true to his principles. In doing so, he provides a much needed prophetic voice to the representatives of the people, reminding them of their responsibility to serve others.

From June 9 to 12, more than 70 young pastors, ministers, and clergy will gather in Washington, DC, for Hunger Justice Leaders 2012: From the Pulpit to the Public Square -- a powerful training that will help attendees develop their own prophetic voice to urge our nation’s decision makers to end hunger here and abroad. Through a special partnership and covenant with Bread for the World, this year’s Hunger Justice Leaders will be provided with expert training, inspiring speakers and worship, spiritually sustaining fellowship, and unique opportunities to visit the White House and to lobby their members of Congress!

Proverbs 31:8, 9 tells us 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.” We can end hunger in our time, but it will take faith and political will to make it happen. It will take the work of faith leaders, stepping from the pulpit to the public square, to organize, advocate, and follow in the tradition of the prophets to build a movement across our country.

This June, dozens of faith leaders begin that journey and work with Bread for the World. "Pastor” Smith is coming to Washington.

Jon-gromekJon Gromek is north central regional organizer at Bread for the World.

 

 

Photo caption: Cropped screenshot of James Stewart from the trailer for the film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

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