By Stephen H. Padre
Are you optimistic about ending hunger? Do you believe the world can actually end extreme poverty by 2030?
If so, then you’re among a slim minority in the world who believes these things are possible. If you have any good feelings about this whatsoever, please don’t keep them quiet!
A report released Sept. 22 says that 87 percent of people from 24 countries who were surveyed think extreme poverty has either increased or stayed the same. They believe this despite the fact that in the last 20 years, the number of people who are living in extreme poverty has been more than cut in half.
This is great news! But apparently, it’s one of the world’s best-kept secrets. The world is making amazing progress on eliminating poverty and hunger, but either people don’t know about it or refuse to believe it.
At Bread for the World, we sometimes struggle with how to talk about hunger and poverty. Do we say they’re huge problems and raise the alarm so people are spurred to action out of great concern? Or should we sound more positive and point out the progress we’ve made so that people are encouraged that the world’s efforts are going in the right direction?
At the moment, our approach tips slightly toward the latter. We want to point out the huge advances the world has made against hunger and poverty. It’s one way of encouraging others who haven’t been part of the anti-hunger movement to understand the effectiveness of fighting hunger in various ways, including advocacy at the level of the federal government, which is Bread’s area of work.
If you’re reading this, chances are that you’re already a Bread activist and are among the 13 percent who believe that ending extreme poverty is possible. But don’t keep your optimism about ending hunger hidden. Tell people at your church. Tell your friends. Tell your family. And then tell them that you know a great way to help keep the world’s momentum against hunger going until we end it: a good organization called Bread for the World. It’s a tool for Christians who want to end hunger, an effective means at getting at the root causes of hunger.
We at Bread will help you spread this good news, and together we can accelerate the pace of this positive change.
Stephen H. Padre is Bread’s managing editor.