Congress: There should be a place at the table for everyone
Washington, DC, June 6, 2013
The table is a natural and powerful symbol of community. Families and people in unity often gather around a table. Jesus met with his disciples around tables to share his teachings and fellowship.
Bread for the World began around a table in a church in New York nearly 40 years ago. The mission of Art Simon, founder of Bread for the World, and like-minded Christians was bold: "We can end hunger."
In that spirit, this year's Offering of Letters asks our national leaders in both the executive and legislative branches to take a look around the "table" and ensure a place of everyone.
We know that there is more than enough food for everyone in the world. Yet, one in six Americans does not always have enough to eat. Nearly 900 million people around the world struggle with hunger on a daily basis.
Bread for the World asks why so many people go hungry when others have more than enough. Local churches and community pantries deliver food to the tables of our most vulnerable neighbors. But those efforts combined are only the equivalent of 4 percent of federal expenditures on anti-hunger programs here in the United States. The federal government provides 23 times the amount of food assistance as does charity.
"When I hear the story of a single Mom struggling to put food on the table, or a child born into poverty, or a Dad who's gone months without a paycheck, I cannot sit idly by - not as a person and certainly not as a president," said President Obama during his campaign for re-election.
Those words hearten Bread for the World. We believe that the president of the United States can and should use his White House position to rally the nation around ending hunger. Thus, the Offering of Letters, is petitioning the president - in addition to sending letters to members of Congress.
We are asking President Obama to set a goal and work with Congress on a plan to end hunger. Worldwide hunger and poverty have decreased by nearly half since 1990, due in large measure to efforts by nations to meet the Millennium Development Goals. This illustrates the importance of leadership, goals and plans.
Your letters are needed to members of Congress this year more than ever. If we ignore the deficit-reduction debates, we could easily lose the gains we have made over the years.
Now we are asking Congress to work with the president on a comprehensive plan to end hunger. Our letters ask members of Congress to focus on protecting anti-hunger programs like: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps), the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and poverty-focused development assistance (PFDA). Please contact your members of Congress.
Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation's decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.
Fito Moreno, Interim Media Relations Manager, 202-688-1138