Making our country the great land it can be

April 27, 2017

By Rick Steves

Over the last few months, millions of Americans, including myself, have been inspired to celebrate and defend what they believe makes our country so...American.

Last Wednesday, I announced that I’d donate a dollar to Bread for the World for every dollar spent at my online shop. An impressive 627 of you responded, spending a total of $17,274 on my Rick Steves guidebooks, DVDs, travel accessories, and travel bags. That’s more than double my normal sales!

As promised, I’m giving an amount to Bread for the World equal to your collective shopping spree. And — further motivated by our government’s threat to drastically cut domestic and foreign aid programs — I’m tripling the amount and upping my gift to $50,000.

Thinking about how this money will help advocate for poor and hungry people in our nation and around the world brings me (and, I hope, all of us) real joy.

Industrialists pay for lobbyists to defend the interests of the extremely wealthy - often at the expense of the poor. But who lobbies for the hungry? With this small fundraiser, collectively we are funding lobbyists to explain to our government what we believe America should be. That’s what advocacy is.

And, while I wish our leaders could simply do what they know in their hearts to be right, the reality is that they tend to do what lobbyists encourage them to do. With this $50,000, we are giving hungry people a chance to have their needs heard in Washington D.C. That’s why, now more than ever, I prefer advocacy to charity.

I’m thankful for your support in this small, but exciting initiative. To me, this is helping to make our country the great land we know it can be. Thanks again and happy travels! 

Rick Steves is host of public television's most-watched, longest-running travel series, "Rick Steves' Europe," and the author of more than 50 travel guidebooks.

With this $50,000, we are giving hungry people a chance to have their needs heard in Washington D.C.

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.


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