Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger
 

325 posts categorized "Solutions to U.S. Poverty"

Celebrate the Farmer

Marie-Crise

Marie Crise is able to use her SNAP benefits to purchase fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables at the Abingdon Farmers Market in Abingdon, Va. (Photo by Laura Elizabeth Pohl/Bread for the World)

by Eric Bond

On Monday, New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman wrote a tribute to the farmer—and the joy to be had from fresh produce. He points out that as much as chefs are in the spotlight these days, the bulk of the hard work and artistry in a meal happens on the farm:

These are tasks that take weeks, if not months, of daily activity and maintenance. Like anything else, you can get good at it, but the challenges that nature ... and the market ... throw at you are never even close to being under control in the same way that a cook controls the kitchen.

As Bittman revels in the fruits of labor coming to farmers markets in the waning days of summer, he recognizes the reality that many people do not have the access or the finances to enjoy the pleasures of fresh produce. Bittman calls for the following actions, which will better support small farmers, feed more hungry people, and share the bounty of a functioning farm system:

Continue reading "Celebrate the Farmer" »

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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The Large Cost of a Small Operation

Farmer-and-tractor

A farmer in the Mississippi Delta region. People who earn their living as farmers have a unique role in society as stewards of an essential public good—an agriculture system that feeds and nourishes everyone. (Photo by Todd Post/Bread for the World)

by Gabrielle Hall

Unbeknownst to most people, thousands of local farmers across the country work tirelessly to harvest enough to get by each year. Unfortunately, the current food system in United States creates hardships for small farmers to stay afloat.

“It's very important to look at our broken food system, which actually comes from a broken agriculture system. For many years, the big guys were the only ones that counted and the little guys had to do the stuff by themselves.” said Robin Robbins, food safety and marketing manager at Appalachian Harvest, a company that supports small farmers and purchases from local farms to put together truckloads of fruits and vegetables.

Here is a look at some of the other challenges small farmers face:

Continue reading "The Large Cost of a Small Operation" »

An Extra Time for the Grassroots Call

Lobby Day Visit

Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) meets with Bread for the World activist Margaret Edmondson of Idaho during Bread for the World's Lobby Day in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, June 12, 2012. (Photo by Rick Reinhard for Bread for the World)

By Robin Stephenson

In order to accommodate as many activists as possible, we have added an additional time for our Grassroots Conference Call (and Webinar) tomorrow, Aug. 21. Now you can call in at 4 p.m. Eastern Time (that is 1 p.m. Pacific Time for the West Coast) or at 8 p.m. Eastern Time (5 p.m. Pacific Time).  Register now for the slot that best fits your schedule!

The monthly call is a great way to get the most recent update on the Offering of Letters, ask questions of our expert policy analysts from our government relations department and hear from your dedicated organizing staff and Bread members.  

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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:

Continue reading "It’s Time to Bust Myths About SNAP" »

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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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.

Give Peach a Chance—
Keep “Fresh” in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program

800px-Autumn_Red_peaches

(Photo courtesy the Agricultural Research Service/USDA)

by Eric Bond

“A rose is a rose is a rose,” wrote Gertrude Stein, reflecting on the simple essence of most things. While her words evoke a basic, straightforward view of the world, they fail to account for some important distinctions.

For example, can we say that a peach is a peach is a peach—when one is freshly picked, another is canned in syrup, and yet another is mashed into a fruit bar and loaded with nonfruit fillers? These definitions of peachiness are at the heart of one of the provisions of the farm bill slated for renewal by September 30.

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Keep “Fresh” in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program" »

Have You Voted Yet?

School-lunch-in-india

Children in India benefit from meals provided by their school. This lunch program was featured in the "Hunger Report," published by the Bread for the World Institute.

The Bread for the World board of directors helps set the direction for how Bread can best channel its resources to support anti-hunger programs around the world. (Photo by Jim Stipe/Bread for the World)

While you have to wait until November to cast your ballot in the U.S. presidential election, Bread members have a chance to vote now for their representatives on the Bread for the World board of directors.

And unlike in national elections, in which voters are often subjected to divisive, winner-take-all politics, voting for members of Bread’s board is a harmonious action. This multidenominational, bipartisan group of Bread candidates is united in its mission to eliminate hunger—just like you are.

Each year, one-third of our board members are chosen by the entire Bread for the World membership. This year, 14 candidates have put their names forward to represent Bread. Choices range from a former U.S. Presidential candidate to a founder of a food bank. Each of these individuals has already done much to end hunger, and each brings specific insight, skills, and connections to the table. Bread members can vote for seven of them.

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Tell Your Representative to Support SNAP

by Kyle Dechant 

SNAP Resolution 8.13.12Did you know the following facts about the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP, formerly food stamps)? 

  • Eighty-four percent of all SNAP benefits go to households with a child, elderly person, or disabled person.
  • Eighty-five percent of families on SNAP make less than $24,000 a year (for a family of four).
  • The average SNAP allotment per household is $284 per month. 

With rhetoric about government programs heating up during this election year, some Americans are not getting reliable  information about the value and efficiency of this program to assist hungry families. 

Continue reading "Tell Your Representative to Support SNAP" »

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