Bread for the World Activists Participate in Nationwide Human Circles to Protect Poor People
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Washington, DC, November 16, 2011
Today at noon, Bread for the World activists participated in a nationwide effort to form “human circles” around programs that help vulnerable people lift themselves out of poverty. Activists created “circles” in New York City, Portland, OR, Ft. Collins, CO, and the Washington cities of Tacoma, Vancouver, and Seattle.
“With just one more week before the Super Committee reaches its deadline for identifying $1.2 trillion in deficit-reductions, we pray these symbolic circles of protection will bring to light just what is at stake,” said Bread for the World organizer Sarah Rohrer. “We urge Super Committee members to put all options on the table and not balance the budget on the backs of hungry and poor people.”
People of faith have come together to pray and call on lawmakers to create a circle of protection around programs that impact vulnerable people in the United States and abroad. In New York City, Bread for the World joined Sojourners, the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, and other nonprofit leaders to pray for Friendly Hands Ministries, a faith-based organization founded by Latino clergy to serve the city’s East Harlem neighborhood. The ministry depends on government funds for their feeding, job training, child care, and healthcare programs.
Bread for the World, along with Sojourners, Associated Ministries, and the Faith Action Network formed human circles outside the Seattle, Tacoma, and Vancouver offices of Super Committee co-chair Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) to ask that budget cuts not be made on the backs of poor people. Travel media personality Rick Steves, longtime Bread for the World supporter and devout Lutheran, will participate in the Washington events.
“I believe that the mark of a civilized society is how it cares for its needy, its homeless, and its hungry,” said Steves. “It was important that I join my friends from Bread for the World in bringing this message to Senator Murray and her committee.”
In Portland, activists gathered at the Tom McCall Waterfront Park near the office of Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) for prayer. Organizations also formed “circles” in Ft. Collins, CO, across from Rep. Cory Gardner's (D-CO) office.
“Hungry and poor people did not create the federal deficit, and it is morally wrong to harm them in the process of reducing it,” said Bread for the World organizer Matt Newell-Ching. “We encourage activists to use their voices to protect these vital programs.”
Congress is considering deep cuts to federal nutrition programs as well as U.S. investments in agricultural development, microfinance, education, and safe water in developing countries. The proposed cuts will be the most severe cuts to programs for hungry and poor people in decades. Since early this year, Bread for the World has joined more than 60 religious organizations to call for a circle of protection around programs that meet the essential needs of hungry and poor people at home and abroad.
Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation's decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.
Kristen Y. Archer, Acting Manager for Media Relations, 202-688-1118