May 21, 2017

Faith Leaders Begin Fast to Oppose Trump Budget Cuts

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Washington, D.C. – Faith leaders, including the heads of some of the country’s largest Christian denominations, today launched a nationwide, monthly fast to ask God’s help with their advocacy for hungry and poor people. Bread for the World and its partners organized the fast in response to the unprecedented budget cuts proposed by the Trump administration and the 115th Congress.  

“From leaked reports we know President Trump’s budget is continuing his big push for unprecedented cuts to programs that are important to hungry people in our country and around the world,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “Like Esther in the Bible, we are well positioned for such a time as this. Fasting together in faith, we ask for God’s help and guidance in challenging attacks on poor, hungry, and vulnerable people.” 

The fast, called For Such a Time as This, begins today with a 3-day fast by Beckmann and other local and national faith leaders. It continues with prayer and fasting every 21st day of the month through December 2018, the last month of the 115th Congress.

On May 23, President Donald Trump will release his budget for fiscal year 2018. The budget is expected to contain unprecedented cuts to programs that help poor and hungry people in the United States and around the world. This is on top of the American Health Care Act’s $880 billion cut to Medicaid for low-income people. 

“The cuts to Medicaid and the proposed budget cuts to social safety net programs such as SNAP are a double whammy for people who struggle to feed their families,” Beckmann said. “We hope the fast spreads widely, with many people and organizations finding this a helpful way to deepen and intensify our commitment to advocacy. 

For Such a Time as This recalls the biblical story of Esther. Esther used her access to the Persian emperor to save her people, the Jews, from destruction. She and her community fasted and prayed to strengthen her commitment to advocacy.

Other leaders of this national fast include: Arturo Chavez, president & CEO, Mexican American Catholic College; Most Reverend Michael Bruce Curry, presiding bishop and primate, Episcopal Church; Rev. Elizabeth Eaton, presiding bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; Tony Hall, executive director emeritus, Alliance to End Hunger; Anwar Khan, CEO, Islamic Relief USA; The Honorable Barbara Lee, member, U.S. House of Representatives; Rev. Carlos Malavé, executive director, Christian Churches Together in the USA; Most Reverend Richard E. Pates, Roman Catholic Bishop of Des Moines; Senior Bishop Lawrence Reddick III, presiding bishop, Christian Methodist Episcopal Church; Dr. Barbara Williams Skinner, co-chair, National African American Clergy Network; and Jim Wallis, president and founder, Sojourners.

More information about the fast can be found at: 

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.