218 posts categorized "Hunger QOTD"
"No more shall there be in it
An infant that lives but a few days,
Or an old person who does not live out a lifetime;
...They shall build houses and inhabit them;
They shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit."
— Isaiah 65:20a-21
As Christians today, we continue to serve people in need—our neighbors next door as well as those far from us as they struggle with hunger and poverty. In supporting reforms to U.S. food-assistance programs, we can mirror God’s intention for abundance and life. By engaging in this issue, we are participating in caring for our neighbors near and far but in ways that better reflect God’s desire that we all might build up our world to be a place where all are cared for and sustained. Read "God Wants Abundance and Life: A Biblical Reflection" to learn more about the importance of reforming U.S. food aid, the focus of Bread for the World's 2014 Offering of Letters.
"It doesn’t matter your color, religion, your political party—if you are poor, you are poor. And we all have the same problems—locally, nationally, and globally."
—Nadine Blackwell, a registered nurse and former school teacher in Philadelphia, who lost her job as a health service administrator when a debilitating medical condition struck without warning. Now the safety net is the only thing keeping Nadine afloat.
Food insecurity is a much bigger problem for families with a disabled adult, but it's a problem that can be solved. Ending hunger is possible. To learn more about hunger in America—and how we can end it in our lifetimes—read the 2014 Hunger Report.
"If praying for daily bread means to pray for enough, then surely the implication is that when we have more than enough we will share the 'more' so that others may also have enough. Such sharing is an indication that our hope in Christ is deep and true."
—Bread for the World founder Art Simon, in "Rediscovering the Lord's Prayer"
As Christians today, we continue to serve people in need—our neighbors next door as well as those far from us as they struggle with hunger and poverty. As a wealthy nation, the United States responds to humanitarian emergencies with food aid, reaching millions of people around the world.
Bread for the World's 2014 Offering of Letters focuses on much-needed reform to U.S. food aid. Changes to the food-aid programs would allow food aid to benefit 17 million more people each year — at no additional cost to U.S. taxpayers. Learn more at www.bread.org/ol.
Photo: A young girl in Guatemala helps her family prepare a meal (Joseph Molieri/Bread for the World).
—Armand P., who has been unemployed for 13 months and recently lost his unemployment benefits, to the Washington Post
More than 1.6 million unemployed workers have now been cut off from emergency unemployment insurance. For many of them, this is their only source of income as they struggle to find work.
Every day that Congress fails to extend unemployment insurance, it becomes harder to reinstate necessary assistance. We cannot give up on the unemployed, and neither should Congress.
Photo: At Our Daily Bread Employment Center in Baltimore, people line up for the Hot Meal Program, held seven days a week (Jim Stipe).
"[T]he easiest way to respond to the myth that poor countries are doomed to stay poor is to point to one fact: They haven’t stayed poor. Many—though by no means all—of the countries we used to call poor now have thriving economies. And the percentage of very poor people has dropped by more than half since 1990.
"That still leaves more than 1 billion people in extreme poverty, so it’s not time to celebrate. But it is fair to say that the world has changed so much that the terms “developing countries” and “developed countries” have outlived their usefulness.
—Bill Gates, in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's annual letter
Photo: Two girls enjoy lunch in rural Guatemala. USAID provides funding for school meals (Food for Education) in some of the most impoverished and malnourished areas (Joseph Molieri/Bread for the World).
Photo: The faith leaders chosen to participate in Bread for the World's 2012 Hunger Justice Leaders program pose in front of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building after meeting with people working in the White House Office of Public Engagement in Washington, D.C., on Monday, June 11, 2012. (Laura Elizabeth Pohl/Bread for the World)
"We all are called for service
To witness in God's name;
Our ministries are different,
Our purpose is the same:
To touch the lives of others
With God's surprising grace
So ev'ry folk and nation
May feel God's warm embrace."
-- Verse from the hymn, "We All Are One in Mission"
Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation's leaders to end hunger at home and abroad. Our partners represent a wide spectrum of church organizations and faith communities.
This week. during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, take a moment to learn more about how Christians from numerous denominations are working together to end hunger.
“God’s love in us should compel us to be tangibly involved in the needs of the world.”
—Ken Wytsma, president of Kilns College, pastor, founder of the Justice Conference, and author of Pursuing Justice.
The Justice Conference empowers people to pursue biblical justice and to effect change on behalf of the vulnerable. This year's conference will take place Feb. 21-22 in Los Angeles, Calif. For those unable to make it to Los Angeles, several partner sites throughout the United States will be hosting live conference simulcasts.
“Partly because of the War on Poverty, we cut the poverty rate in half during the 1960s and early 1970s. But we haven’t made much progress since then, mainly because reducing poverty hasn’t been a national priority. No president since Lyndon Johnson has made reducing poverty one of his top five priorities.”
- Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World, in today's press release "Bread for the World Welcomes New Debate about Poverty."
Today marks 50 years since President Lyndon Johnson declared a “War on Poverty." This year's Hunger Report, Ending Hunger in America, outlines a four-step plan, which includes policies to reduce unemployment and improve the quality of jobs. It also urges a strong safety net, investments in people, and partnerships between community organizations and government programs.
Congress has several issues on its agenda in January that will have an impact on poverty in America. Federal safety-net programs have helped many families weather the Great Recession, but poverty rates remain high. Until the U.S. unemployment rates are reduced to pre-recession levels, unemployment insurance plays a vital role in helping the long-term unemployed as they seek work. Take a moment now and urge your members to pass an extension of emergency unemployment insurance, restoring vital aid to 1.3 million job seekers.
The farm bill conference committee is expected to release its final report soon. Although poverty has increased during the Great Recession, food insecurity has stayed relatively stable. SNAP (formerly food stamps) has been critical keeping food on the table for 47 million struggling Americans during tough economic times. Tell Congress: now is not the time to be taking food away from struggling families.
"We all deserve better than this," writes Tara Dublin of Portland, Ore. In a recent Mom's Rising blog post, Dublin, an unemployed single mother who lost her job in social media, likens her experience to living a nightmare.
In last month’s budget deal, Congress failed to extend EUC - emergency benefits for the long-term unemployed. Every week that Congress delays an extension, 72,000 people lose their benefits. Congress will consider another extension in the next few weeks with the first test this morning in the Senate.
In a Dec. 3 press conference, Labor Secretary Tom Perez talked about the plight of the unemployed missed by statistics. "They have been looking day in and day out for work. They are trying to feed their families," The Durango Herald reported Perez as saying.
Many of the long-term unemployed have used their savings to fill in financial gaps as they look for work, and unemployment benefits are their last lifeline. "They are trying to stave off foreclosure," said Perez. "They are making judgments between food and medicine – judgments that no person in America or anywhere should have to make.”
But more than the bills that pile up, just keeping your head up is difficult, says Tara Dublin. "This is not where I expected to be at the age of 44," writes the exhausted single mother, "especially not when I had my life together so good 4 years ago." Dublin remembers when life was easier. "But then 2009 happened and now here we are, and it is time this Dark Age of Awful comes to an end.”
Although the economy is slowly improving, it is not enough. There are three applicants for every job opening in America. Today's vote will test the temperature of America and our willingness to leave an estimated five million unemployed workers out in the cold this year.
In the Senate, Nevada Republican Sen. Dean Heller and Rhode Island Democratic Sen. Jack Reed have authored a bill that would extend the benefits retroactively for an additional three months. The Senate postponed a vote scheduled last night for 10 EST this morning, allowing senators caught in bad weather time to reach Washington, D.C. It is yet unclear when and if the House, which returns from the holiday recess today, will take up the bipartisan bill.
Call 800-826-3688 now or email your members of Congress today. Tell them to extend unemployment insurance immediately as their first action in 2014.
Photo: Construction workers experienced the highest percentage point increase in long-term unemployment during the recession. Read more how full employment is the first step to ending hunger in America in the 2014 Hunger Report (Rick Reinhard).
Get updates on issues and actions to take on behalf of hungry people.