June 13, 2016

Pope Francis, Bread for the World President Speak at World Food Programme Headquarters

Rebecca Middleton/Alliance to End Hunger

Rome, Italy – Today, Pope Francis addressed the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on the need to end hunger and poverty. Shortly afterwards, Bread for the World President David Beckmann and other religious leaders spoke with the WFP executive committee on the topic.

During his remarks, the pope said, “A people plays out its future by its ability to respond to the hunger and thirst of its brothers and sisters. In that ability to come to the aid of the hungry and thirsty, we can measure the pulse of our humanity. For this reason, I desire that the fight to eradicate the hunger and thirst of our brothers and sisters, and with our brothers and sisters, will continue to challenge us to seek creative solutions of change and transformation.”

Following the pope’s remarks, Beckmann discussed with the WFP executive committee how faith-based organizations are uniquely powerful actors to end hunger. Beckmann and Pope Francis spoke during the WFP’s meetings on Inter-Religious Engagement for Zero Hunger. It was the first time a pope has visited the agency.

“The feasibility of Zero Hunger has moral and spiritual implications,” said Beckmann. “It is no longer ethically sufficient to help people in need. We aren’t acting ethically unless we are helping to end hunger, which means advocating for the systemic changes that are required. God’s grace leads directly to advocacy to end hunger.”

All of this comes during the important first year of work toward the landmark Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The 17 global goals, which have been agreed to by U.N.member states, aim to tackle the root causes of hunger and poverty.

Bread for the World, the largest anti-hunger advocacy organization in the world, believes the WFP should support faith-based and civil-society advocacy for Zero Hunger, the second of the SDGs. 

“Bread for the World and the Alliance to End Hunger provide an example of faith-based advocacy for the end of hunger,” said Beckmann. “Religion can be a powerful force in support of the SDGs and Zero Hunger. Working together, faith-based organizations and the World Food Programme can help make Zero Hunger a reality.”

He affirmed Bread's interest in the proposed Inter-religious Council on Ending Hunger. However, political will to end hunger is critical.

“Ending hunger by 2030 requires strong leadership from the U.S, which is the world's largest development aid donor,” added Beckmann. “That is why it is critical during the 2016 elections that voters elect a president and a Congress committed to making ending poverty and hunger a priority.”

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.


Changing Climate, Changing Farmers

February 7, 2017


From the Blog