Community Action

When we come together, we have power. Partnering with God to end hunger requires us to organize ourselves for action. When we come together as churches, campus groups, community organizations, or individuals of good will, collective action makes a bigger impact than individual protest. Because we live in a democracy, Congress listens when people speak up, and we can be heard better when we speak together. Advocacy to end hunger — involving educating, organizing, and mobilizing — starts with us in our communities.

Churches exist to accomplish the mission of preaching and teaching the Gospel of God’s love for the world. Photo: UN/Albert Gonzales Farran

Faith communities

Churches are often in the best position to see the harsh realities of hunger and poverty among their members, in their neighborhoods, and in the world. Many churches operate or support feeding programs, such as soup kitchens or food pantries, or other programs. Churches also connect with people who are hungry and struggling with poverty through CROP Walks, social ministry programs, and mission trips. And many churches and their members financially support their denomination’s hunger programs and related agencies that work in relief and development in the U.S. and around the world. Churches make some of the best anti-hunger advocates because they can combine hands-on experience with their faith.

Churches can also use their influence and speak about issues from a strong moral position. Pastors can help their congregations understand what the Bible says about hunger. Speaking about hunger from a biblical standpoint calls others, especially lawmakers, to serve justice and the common good. Holding an Offering of Letters is one way Christians in a faith community can share their faith-informed perspective on ending hunger and to urge elected officials to end hunger.

he optimism and idealism of young people bolsters the willingness of older generations to take action. Photo: Joe Molieri/Bread for the World

Students and youth

The energy, optimism, and idealism of young people bolster the willingness of older generations to take action.

College students have a unique opportunity to influence their peers and make a difference through on-campus advocacy. Students learn about important justice issues and engage in life-changing ways through academic lectures, awareness events, alternative spring breaks, campus ministry activities, and international mission trips. Because of their boldness of vision and courage, throughout history, students have played a major role in social justice movements. Students can rally their entire campus and impact their community and the world.

College students, as new voters, are often excited about communicating with elected officials. They can organize on campus, create or join local Bread Teams, host or participate in an Offering of Letters, or use the latest technology to educate and motivate constituents.

Passion and energy move people, and those qualities abound in young people. When young adults provide their energy and creativity we can all make a bigger, bolder impact.

Individuals don’t have to be part of an organized group to work toward ending hunger. Photo: Laura Pohl/Bread for the World

Other concerned individuals

Individuals don’t have to be part of an organized group to work toward ending hunger. Many people volunteer. Giving your time is a valuable way of contributing toward the end of hunger. You can volunteer at a soup kitchen or during election time for a candidate who pledges to end hunger.

Bread has many ways individuals can connect to our collective action. Give us your email address and we will help you.

You can multiply your individual act by getting your friends and family to do the same our joining others in Bread Teams or talking to your local Bread Organizer. In many communities, Bread Teams pull together representatives from churches, schools, and community groups to work together on hunger and poverty issues. Supported by our regional organizers, these teams coordinate in-district meetings with members of Congress and outreach to the media. 

Partnering with God to end hunger requires us to organize ourselves for action.
Hungriest 10 states in the U.S. (2016). Infographic by Doug Puller/Bread for the World

Did you know?

Hunger exists in the U.S. just as it does overseas. In the U.S., where there is poverty, hunger is often there also. Hidden hunger is a term used to describe what happens when vitamins and minerals are not part of the diet.

Tools
from our Resource Library

For Education

  • The Nourishing Effect

    Hunger and food insecurity add at least $160 billion a year to U.S. healthcare costs.

  • Mass Incarceration: A Major Cause of Hunger

    Mass incarceration has far-reaching effects in the United States. It poses a significant barrier to ending U.S. hunger and poverty by 2030—a goal the United States adopted in 2015. But the connection is not always obvious.

  • Advancing Nutrition through Food Aid Reform

    The United States has long been a global leader in responding to humanitarian emergencies. Food assistance that includes nutritious food for pregnant women and young children is both a life-and-death matter for individuals and an economic imperative for countries.

For Faith

  • Unity Declaration on Racism and Poverty

    A diverse body of Christian leaders calls on the churches and Congress to focus on the integral connection.

    Dear Members of Congress,

    As the president and Congress are preparing their plans for this year, almost 100 church leaders—from all the families of U.S. Christianity—are...

  • In Times Like These … A Pan-African Christian Devotional for Public Policy Engagement

    This devotional guide invites deepened relationship with and among Pan-Af­rican people and elected leaders in the mission to end hunger and poverty.

  • Sermon by David Beckmann at Duke University Chapel

    Remarks delivered October 1, 2017 at Duke University Chapel in Chapel Hill in North Carolina.

    Thank you for inviting me to preach here at Duke University Chapel. And I especially want to thank the Bread for the World members who have come this morning.

    Bruce Puckett urged...

For Advocacy

  • Grassroots Advocacy Toolkit

    A set of how-to sheets for carrying out advocacy and fact sheets on the current issues Bread for the World is working on.

    For new and current Bread grassroots hunger activists.

    Ideal as a starter toolkit for new Bread activists or as a set of updates for current activists.

    ...

  • Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2017

    Unnecessarily long prison sentences, combined with the lack of rehabilitative programs for people in prison, exacerbate hunger, poverty, and existing inequalities.

    Overly harsh mandatory minimum prison sentences have contributed to the rapid increase of our country’s prison population. The...

  • Health Care Is a Hunger Issue

    Learn more about the principles that Bread for the World supports regarding health reform.

Field

Changing Climate, Changing Farmers

February 7, 2017

Insight

From the Blog