Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger

223 posts categorized "Hunger QOTD"

Quote of the Day: Rick Steves

"Bread for the World lets Christians know that it's OK to get political in the fight to end hunger."

—Television host and travel expert Rick Steves, during Bread for the World's National Gathering. Steves met with Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) to urge her to support food-aid reform and immigration reform during Bread for the World's 2014 Lobby Day.

If you haven't already, get political in the fight to end hunger! Start by signing our petition asking the Senate to reject a provision that would leave 2 million more people hungry every year, and email your representative and tell him or her to support compassionate, comprehensive immigration reform.

Photo: Rick Steves meeting with Sen. Patty Murray on Tuesday, June 10, 2014. (Joseph Molieri/Bread for the World)

Quote of the Day: Asma Lateef

Tohomina Akter and Joy in Barisal, Bangladesh, on April 19, 2012. (Laura Elizabeth Pohl/Bread for the World)

"I think for the first time in human history we have the prospect of ending global hunger within a generation – by 2030."

Asma Lateef, director of Bread for the World Institute, quoted in the May 26 Voice of America article, "NGO Praises Recent Anti-Hunger efforts."

Lateef talks about how our response to worldwide hunger has changed over time, what factors have contributed to a global reduction in hunger, and where we should head in the future. Read the full interview.

Learn more about Bread for the World Institute, and its annual Hunger Report at www.hungerreport.org.

Quote of the Day: John Podesta

"By 2030, we can eradicate extreme poverty.

This is not a hollow platitude. The generations living today are the first in human history that could eliminate extreme deprivation and hunger. It is critical that all nations strive to meet this goal. Not only for our own security, though we know that a more prosperous world is more stable, but because ending extreme poverty is the right thing to do."

—John Podesta, Center for American Progress founder, former chief of staff for President Bill Clinton, counselor to President Barack Obama 

Podesta will be one of the speakers at Bread for the World's 2014 National Gathering, "Bread Rising: Working Together to End Hunger by 2030." To see a full list of speakers, and to register, visit www.bread.org/40.

Photo: A young girl sells oranges in the market in Lusaka, Zambia. (Margaret W. Nea)

Quote of the Day: Rick Steves

"I appreciate Bread for the World because it has taught me the economics of hunger and structural poverty. With all my travel experience, I’ve gained empathy for the struggles of people in developing nations, but my concern used to be confused and directionless. Understanding the basics of structural poverty put my compassion into clear focus. I believe the vast majority of Americans (whether regular citizens or politicians) are good and caring people, but we often need help when it comes to putting hunger in perspective."

—Rick Steves, travel expert and longtime Bread activist,  in a post on his travel blog


Rick Steves is one of the speakers at Bread for the World's 2014 National Gathering, which will take place June 9-10 in Washington, D.C. Have you registered yet? Visit www.bread.org/40 to sign up for the Gathering, which includes our annual Lobby Day, and a special dinner celebrating Bread's 40th anniversary!

Photo:  A family prepares corn in rural Guatemala. (Joseph Molieri/Bread for the World)

Quote of the Day: Frances Moore Lappé

"No society has fulfilled its democratic promise if people go hungry... If some go without food they have surely been deprived of all power. The existence of hunger belies the existence of democracy."

—Frances Moore Lappé, author of Diet for a Small Planet and cofounder of three national organizations that explore the roots of hunger, poverty, and environmental crises.

Photo: School kids enjoying a healthy lunch with fresh fruit and vegetables. (USDA)

Quote of the Day: Rep. Jim McGovern


"I'm sick and tired of poor people being demonized. I'm sick and tired of their struggle being belittled. We're here to represent all people — including those struggling in poverty....

I was taught to love my neighbor. I was taught to care about people and to strive to make everyone's life better. And what is being treated as political dialogue violates those teachings and my core beliefs in humanity. We can all do better. Some of us may need a hand up in order to get by, but that doesn't mean that they are lesser people for it. They deserve our respect—and they deserve our help while they are struggling."

—Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) in an "End Hunger Now" speech given this week, responding to recent remarks denigrating recipients of SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps).

Photo: DeEtte Peck uses her EBT card in Portland, Ore., to purchase food. (Brian Duss)

Quote of the Day: Art Simon

Bread founder Art Simon (right) chats with Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) at the Lobby Day reception during Bread for the World's 2011 National Gathering. (Rick Reinhard)

"From the start, we made the decision to anchor our work in the Gospel of God’s providential care and saving love in Jesus. And we decided to help people link their faith in Christ with our stewardship as citizens in order to obtain justice for hungry people.

It seemed a simple and obvious way of following Jesus. But it also seemed a gamble. Would it work? Some told me it would not work, that Christians are wedded to direct aid only. They said a response that moves into the political arena would press a button too hot to touch. Stick to Band-Aids, they advised.

We prayed for wisdom and invited God's blessing, then decided to launch Bread for the World nationally. We were full of hope but also prepared for possible failure. To our astonishment, an initial mailing brought in several thousand members, and Bread for the World was off and running."

—Rev. Arthur Simon, founder of Bread for the World, on the organization's beginnings, 40 years ago.

This year, Bread for the World is celebrating its 40th anniversary! In honor of this milestone, we're offering a special $40 registration rate for our 2014 National Gathering, which will take place June 9-10 in Washington, D.C. After today, the rate goes up to $80. Visit www.bread.org/40 to register today.

From Charity to Justice: Food Aid Reform

Jane Sebbi, left, is a farmer with 12 acres of land in Kamuli, Uganda, and a mother of seven children. In this photo, she works in her field with her sister-in-law. (Laura Elizabeth Pohl/Bread for the World)

“There is a saying that helps to explain this challenge to work for justice, not just for charity. It goes like this: 'If people are hungry you can give them some fish and they will live another day. It’s called relief.  But if you not only give a fish, but teach them how to fish for themselves they will be helped to feed themselves in the future.'  This is often called development.  That sounds good but it can be misleading if it is not followed with the next step. There is a third part of that saying that is critical to our efforts to move beyond guilt. We must not only offer the fish (relief) and assistance in knowing how to fish themselves (development), but we must move over in the pond and give them a place to fish. Or as someone has added, we must stop polluting the pond where they fish and give them a fair price for their fish. The third step has many facets to it. It is called working for justice, fairness. Justice includes efforts to end oppression and unfair practices of what Walter Wink calls the domination system.  Moving from charity to justice is difficult because it calls for careful listening, increased awareness and critical thinking about the attitudes and values that have brought us to the current crises.”
—Excerpt from Beyond Guilt: Christian Response to Suffering (p. 42) by George  S. Johnson.

In Bread for the World's April e-newsletter, Todd Post, senior editor of Bread for the World Institute’s annual Hunger Report, writes about how an agricultural development program and a cow have helped Rwandan Joseline Umugwaneza move out of extreme poverty. If we are to make progress in the exodus from hunger both at home and abroad, we must address the root causes of hunger and seek solutions that break the cycles of chronic poverty and malnutrition.

U.S. food aid has played a significant role in preventing global hunger and starvation for decades. But with a few common-sense reforms, food-aid programs can help millions more, while building resilience against future crises. Food-aid reform is the focus of Bread's 2014 Offering of Letters.

No reforms matter if funding for food assistance and nutrition programs are cut. As a new appropriations cycle begins, Bread members must ask their members of Congress to adequately fund U.S. food aid. Further creating an obstacle to a more just system of food assistance is a provision in a House-passed Coast Guard reauthorization bill, which is getting very little media attention. The reauthorization bill would require 75 percent of all U.S. food aid to be shipped on U.S. vessels. The resulting increase in shipping costs would reduce funding for programs that help support U.S. humanitarian efforts. Senators, especially those on the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, should remove such provision from a final bill.

Bread members spent two years advocating for improvements in the farm bill that would help end the hunger that affects too many in our world. We have come too far to allow our work to be scuttled by a provision in a Coast Guard spending bill. Funding international food assistance is essential to building food security around the world and ensuring that aid is not a handout, but a hand up.

Quote of the Day: Kevin Meyer

A job seeker reads a copy of the California Job Journal as he waits in line to enter the California Job Journal HIREvent February 10, 2009 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty)

"If someone told me I could get some decent wages and get some benefits doing anything, I'll do it."

—Kevin Meyer, a New Jersey man who lost his job in 2012, and then his federal unemployment benefits in December, to the Los Angeles Times

The Senate is expected to vote on extending unemployment insurance this week. A few weeks ago, Congress failed to advance this bill by just one vote. It is likely that one vote will again determine the outcome. It is also likely that one of three Republicans holds that decision in his hands: Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois, Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, or Sen. Dan Coats of Indiana.

If your senators are on record with a vote to renew benefits, call them and tell them they have your support. You may even ask them to reach out to their colleagues Kirk, Portman, and Coats, and ask them to vote to renew emergency unemployment benefits (EUC) immediately. If you are from Indiana, Illinois or Ohio, it is even more urgent that you call 800-826-3688, or send a personal email.

Quote of the Day: Tom Colicchio

"One in six Americans are food insecure…if you’re on a crowded subway in New York, most likely there are people that are hungry sitting next to you; they’re in your community, you may know them."

—Tom Colicchio, celebrity chef and anti-hunger activist

Photo: A young girl eats breakfast. (Margaret W. Nea)

Stay Connected

Bread for the World