Presidential hopefuls speak about hunger and poverty

Design by Doug Puller/Bread for the World

By Bread Staff

As the 2016 presidential election heats up, Bread for the World wants to make sure hunger and poverty are part of the national conversation.

To that end, Bread, as part of the Circle of Protection coalition, has disseminated videos in which presidential candidates explain how they would work to address hunger and poverty in the United States and around the world as president

The videos were made by Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, and Bernie Sanders. The videos can be found here.  Additional videos will be posted as they are received. The Hillary Clinton, Lindsey Graham, Martin O’Malley, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio campaigns have indicated that they plan to make videos.

“We are making hunger and poverty an election issue, so that the president and Congress who take office in 2017 will put us on track toward ending hunger and poverty,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “God has made it possible for our generation to dramatically reduce – perhaps even end – hunger in our country and around the world.”

The Circle of Protection is a group of 100 leaders from a diverse array of Christian denominations, churches, colleges, and agencies across the country. Bread has a major leadership role in the coalition. The Circle sent each candidate a letter asking him or her to produce a video stating how they propose to provide help and opportunity to hungry and poor people in the United States and abroad.

Circle of Protection members, including Bread, will not publicly evaluate the policy positions or endorse any candidate.

According to the latest U.S. Census data, 49 million Americans are at risk of hunger, while 45 million live in poverty. One in five children lives in poverty. That is 15 million children, 5 million of them under age 6.

The Christian leaders see the videos as the beginning of an active debate about how to alleviate hunger and poverty, and hope these issues will be at the center of the presidential campaign.

“Christians are deeply concerned about the suffering of hungry and poor people,” said Galen Carey, vice president for government relations at the National Association of Evangelicals. “We expect our presidential candidates to move beyond platitudes about the middle class and inspirational rags-to-riches stories. We are looking for well-conceived initiatives that can actually be implemented and that will help millions of people rise out of poverty at home and abroad.”

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