Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger
 

159 posts categorized "Social Justice"

Striving for Better Grades

Better grades blog 8.24.12

(Photo courtesy Meals on Wheels)

by Kristen Archer

We can all recall the nervous anticipation of waiting to receive our report cards in school—hoping we were able to bring that C+ in chemistry up to a B, praying we were able to maintain a solid A in history, dreading the look on our parents’ faces when our geometry grade was finally revealed. 

Our days of receiving quarterly report cards for our own academic performance may be over, but there is one report card we should take note of: The National Foundation to End Senior Hunger’s Senior Hunger Report Card

Distributed at an aging conference earlier this week—Perspectives on Nutrition and Aging: A National Summit—the report card grades our nation in eight areas with regards to senior hunger:

  • overall performance,
  • economics
  • geography
  • women’s studies
  • multicultural studies
  • home economics
  • health and physical education
  • and ethics.

Surprisingly, the nation failed to score higher than a C-minus in any of the categories. 

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Eating on $4.30 per day

Girl-eating

A young girl enjoys breakfast at a local farmer's market. (Photo by Margaret W. Nea)

by Eric Bond

How much will you spend on food today?

For breakfast I ate two bananas (40 cents each), a handful of almonds (let’s say $1.00), a whole wheat bagel (65 cents), two eggs (21 cents each), and a cup of coffee from the corner café ($1.79). Having spent a total of $4.68, I felt thrifty, and I ate fairly well. I also broke the SNAP budget for an entire day.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) allots about $4.30 per person per day. Figuring out how to purchase 2,000 nutritious calories on that amount is a test of creativity and resources.

Try stretching those dollars when you live in a food desert, miles from a well-stocked, economical grocery store. What if you haven’t got any cooking appliances or the money to power them? What if you are working full time, earning barely enough to cover the rent?  Would you have the time and energy to search for, purchase, and cook enough food to sustain yourself on $4.30 per day? Somehow you would have to find a way.

This is reality of the farm bill—which funds SNAP.

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Quote of the day: Federico Garcia Lorca

Motherdaughter

The day that hunger is eradicated from the earth there will be the greatest spiritual explosion the world has ever known. Humanity cannot imagine the joy that will burst into the world.

— Federico Garcia Lorca

Photo: Mother and daughter enjoy a block party in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Crista Friedli/Bread for the World)

It’s Time to Bust Myths About SNAP

Alliandandre

Alex Morris, from Bend, OR, depends on SNAP, WIC, and other programs to care for André, who suffers from a serious medical condition that affects his hormonal system. (Photo by Brad Horn/Bread for the World)

by Christine Melendez Ashley

Misinformation about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) is far too prevalent. Sometimes it seems that I can’t check the news—or even Facebook—without reading another inaccurate claim about the program and its participants.

As a domestic policy analyst at Bread, I know that the facts tell a different story.  SNAP served more than 46 million Americans in May. Here are some hard facts about the program:

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The Importance of Diversity

Newsroom Diversity 8.17.12

Rev. Derrick Boykin, Bread for the World's associate for African-American leadership outreach, prepares for an interview. (Photo by Racine Tucker-Hamilton/Bread for the World)

by Susanne Ramirez de Arellano

Newsroom diversity is necessary. It is the driving force behind the honest and hard hitting reporting that is needed to effectively tackle issues such as hunger and poverty. At this year’s Unity conference—the fifth gathering of journalists of color—the hit taken by diversity in the media due to the recession was a central theme, alongside the shifting landscape and the digital frontier.

We exist in a Darwinian media whose architecture is expanding into different platforms with a rapidity that is stunning and at times confusing. Immediacy, flexibility, and mobility are the sons and daughters of the new technology.

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Fasting During Ramadan Provides an Opportunity to Act Against Hunger

Ramadan 8.17.12by Tony Hall and Abed Ayoub.

As droughts swelter in the American Midwest and the Sahel region of Africa, Muslims across the United States are called to celebrate Ramadan. This month of fasting and spiritual reflection continues until August 19, providing a timely reminder of the increasing number of hungry people suffering during this time of climate and economic uncertainty. The prayerful deprivation of food during Ramadan should be connected to the lives of nearly a billion people who are hungry every day.  

It is heartening to see such compassion fueling the fight against hunger. This year’s Ramadan fast comes at a critical moment for many Americans. According to the latest census, more than 17 million U.S. households are food insecure. Nearly one in four children in our country is at risk of going to bed hungry. Harmful cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly the food stamp program) have been proposed in versions of the 2012 Farm Bill currently being considered before Congress. SNAP helps 46 million Americans put food on the table; the cuts would prove devastating for so many in need.  

Opponents of SNAP and other federal nutrition programs say it should be the responsibility of charities to feed hungry people; however, less than 5 percent of food assistance for poor people comes from charities. In fact, most food assistance comes from government nutrition programs like SNAP. While food banks do their best to feed these families, the reality is that the problem is too large: we cannot food bank our way out of hunger.  

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What Do Liberia and Virginia Have in Common?

Afric vs African American hunger poverty 8.16.12

A market in Liberia. (Photo by Laura Elizabeth Pohl/Bread for the World)

by Kristen Archer.

Liberia is about the same size as Virginia, but its poverty rate is nearly quadruple that of African-Americans in that state. 

“Hunger and poverty among African-Americans mirror the unjust circumstances many people in African nations endure,” said Rev. Derrick Boykin, associate for African-American leadership outreach at Bread for the World. “However, hunger and poverty impacts many African nations more severely, often resulting in disease or even death.”

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Welcoming the Political Stranger

Political stranger 8.16.12

Lloyd Schmeidler of Durham, NC, prays during the opening worship at Bread for the World's Lobby Day in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, June 12, 2012. (Photo by Rick Reinhard/Bread for the World)

by Amy Oden

Christians talk a lot about hospitality, about welcoming the stranger in our churches and communities. Yet, in our personal lives we continue to label, categorize, and dismiss the “political stranger"—people who express political views different from our own.

I challenge Christians during this election season to welcome the political stranger, people we often know well (co-workers, family members, neighbors) who seem like strangers to us—alien, confusing, unfathomable. We may wonder, “What kind of person would vote that way? How can they hold that position?” 

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Are Your Leaders Practicing Fanatic Discipline and Productive Paranoia?

GLS 8.15.12

(Photo by Flickr user Natural Step Online)

by Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy

What do mega church pastors like John Ortberg (Menlo Park Presbyterian), Bill Hybels (Willow Creek Church), and Craig Groeschel (LifeChurch.tv) have in common with leadership experts like  Jim Collins (author of "Good to Great"), William Ury (author of "Getting to Yes"), Geoffrey Canada (author of "Waiting for Superman"), and Gary Haugen (president of the International Justice Mission)? 

Each has a relentless commitment to creating highly effective, powerful organizations that transform our world. 

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Ten Ways Christians Can Help End Hunger During Elections

10 ways to end hunger 8.15.12

Maryland activists participate in Bread for the World's 2011 Lobby Day. (Photo by Jim Stipe/Bread for the World)

  1. Develop an “elevator speech” for why ending hunger is important to you as a Christian.
  2. Register to vote.
  3. Write a letter to your local paper saying that ending hunger is a priority for you as a voter.
  4. Learn what the candidates are saying about ending hunger.
  5. Speak about the importance of ending hunger at candidates’ town hall meetings.
  6. Engage your friends. Make sure they are registered and know what the candidates are saying about ending hunger.
  7. Magnify your voice by combining it with those of thousands of other Christians. Become a member of Bread for the World; organize an Offering of Letters.
  8. Engage your church.
  9. Give money and volunteer time to candidates who are committed to ending hunger.
  10. VOTE for candidates who are committed to ending hunger.

During the August recess, as we lead up to the lame duck session, Bread members are setting up meetings with members of Congress and their staff at local offices to make sure that hunger issues are part of the campaign conversations. 

Contact your Organizer who can help you set up a meeting or find a town hall or just check out our elections resources and keep ending hunger a priority and part of the conversation.

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