Group of black state legislators pledges to end hunger

As people of faith, it is our moral calling to be politically engaged. Photo: Joe Molieri/Bread for the World

By Stephen Padre

The National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL), meeting in its annual national conference in Los Angeles last month, adopted a resolution related to ending hunger in the United States by 2030.

The resolution commits the NBCSL to call on “all elected leaders in state legislatures, the U.S. Congress, and the White House to make it a top priority to end hunger by 2030” and to call “on the U.S. Congress and the White House to provide adequate and consistent funding for the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).”

The NBCSL said churches, schools, communities, local charities, and people of goodwill have a role in generating the political will to end hunger. In the resolution, the organization recognized the importance of government policy in ending hunger.

The action by the NBCSL came out of the Indiana Statehouse Hunger Forum convened in Indianapolis in July 2015 by Bread for the World in partnership with the African Methodist Episcopal national Women’s Quadrennial, the Indianapolis Recorder newspaper, local clergy, congressional leaders, and Indianapolis mayoral candidates. The event was hosted by the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus. The NBCSL resolution was a follow-up to the forum, and Bread staff collaborated in writing the resolution.

“One of the important roles Bread plays is convening diverse sectors of the community in partnership with faith leaders and their partners to create and inform the will to end hunger through public policy,” explained Rev. Dr. Angelique Walker-Smith, national senior associate for pan-African church engagement in Bread’s church relations department. “In this case, the local and statewide community became the energized leadership that created its own approach to do this after being convened with local, state, and national partners. This resulted in a national resolution that has become a powerful tool for further organizing and mobilizing to end hunger.”

Stephen Padre is managing editor at Bread for the World.

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