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.

  • The Impacts of Proposed Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Cuts on the Latino Community

    To end hunger and poverty in the United States by 2030, our country needs to support a budget that improves the lives of men, women, and children. Unfortunately, the Trump administration and Congress are proposing dramatic cuts to programs that promote economic opportunity or provide food...

  • The Dream Act of 2017 (S. 1615 & H.R. 3440)


    The United States is a nation of immigrants. Throughout its history, people have moved here from all over the world and have contributed to their communities and our national life. Today, as in the past, immigrants are also creating prosperity for this nation. 


For Faith

  • The Bible on Health as a Hunger Issue

    A brief examination of the biblical approach to health as a hunger issue.

    Includes an introduction to the issue, a Scriptural reflection, practical actions you can take, and a prayer.

  • Bread Newsletter January 2016

    In this issue: Another Great Year for Bread; Catholics Begin Observance of Holy Year of Mercy; Serving on ‘God’s Wave Length’ for 39 Years; and more.

  • Interfaith Religious Leaders’ Pledge to End Hunger

    A wide array of the nation’s faith leaders have come together on the eve of Pope Francis’ arrival in the United States to commit ourselves to encourage our communities to work for the end of hunger by 2030 and, toward that end, for a shift in U.S. national priorities.

    We are deeply pleased...

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.


  • The State of Black Poverty: A Pan-African Millennial Perspective on Ending Hunger by 2030

    Over the past year and a half, about two-dozen young adults from the United States and countries in Africa and the Caribbean, have gathered virtually and in person to reflect on the effects of hunger and poverty in black communities. The working group has been considering socio-political and...

  • Fact Sheet: The Hunger-Medicaid Connection

    Congress is considering proposals that would jeopardize healthcare coverage for millions of poor and near-poor adults and children. 

    Legislation under consideration in the House and Senate would gut...