214 posts categorized "Hunger QOTD"
"[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).
"And in the midst of our daily preoccupations and pursuits, open our eyes to the sorrows and injustices of our hurting world, and help us to respond with compassion and sacrifice to those who are friendless and in need. May our constant prayer be that of the ancient Psalmist: “Teach me, O Lord, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end” (Psalm 119:33).
- Rev. Billy Graham, in an excerpt from a prayer written for The Saturday Evening Post in 2008.
Photo: Sharmila Chaudhari feeds her daughter Sanjana, 19 months, at the Nutrition Rehabilitation Home in Dhangadhi, Nepal, on Sunday, April 29, 2012. The 2014 Offering of Letters, launching later this month, will focus on U.S. food aid. Globally, 1 in 4 children under the age of 5 is stunted because of malnutrition (Laura Elizabeth Pohl/Bread for the World).
"At its core, Christmas is about the seemingly impossible becoming a reality. An unwed girl can conceive the divine, and a child born in a manger can usher in the kingdom of God. Our faith teaches that all things are possible through Christ who strengthens us. The Gospel message that the hungry will be filled is attainable here and now."
--David Beckmann, President of Bread for the World, in "A Wave of Prayer to End Hunger, Protect SNAP" printed in The Huffington Post Relgion Blog on December 6, 2013.
Protecting SNAP (formerly food stamps) in the farm bill is attainable. As we head toward the new year and members of Congress finalize the farm bill, urge them to protect programs like SNAP and international food aid. Now is not the time to take food from hungry people.
Photo: The 2013 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree lighting ceremony was held on the west lawn of the Capitol building on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013 in Washington, D.C. (U.S. Forest Service/Robert H. Westover).
Night sets over Antigua, Guatemala, at the Cerro de la Cruz (Joseph Molieri/Bread for the World).
While the charitable work we do as caring people is important, we must remember that all the food provided by all the charities in our country amounts to only 4 percent of the food assistance available for poor and hungry people. Our government provides the rest. That means Bread's advocacy work has a huge impact on caring for the most vulnerable people among us. I'm convinced that supporting Bread is the very best way to leverage my charitable giving. That's why I've been a Bread member for 30 years.
-- Rick Steves is the host of public television's most-watched, longest-running travel series, "Rick Steves' Europe," and the author of more than 50 travel guidebooks.
Help fill the hungry with good things this holiday season. Your year-end gift supports Bread for the World’s efforts to change the policies, programs, and conditions that allow hunger and poverty to persist. Every dollar you give helps Bread win more than $100 in assistance for hungry and poor people. Will you help with a special gift?
Get updates on issues and actions to take on behalf of hungry people.