- About Hunger
- How to End Hunger
- Our Impact
- Get Involved
By Robin Stephenson
When the Bread Indiana Leadership Team met in early March for an Offering of Letters workshop, they had two goals: Get at least 50 churches to join a multi-church Offering of Letters and persuade Indiana’s members of Congress to cosponsor the Global Food Security Act (GFSA).
They can check one of the goals off their list.
U.S. Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) added his name to the cosponsor list for the Global Food Security Act (S. 2269), a week after his office was flooded by roughly 45 calls from the Indianapolis workshop participants.
The legislation—passed in 2016 and up for reauthorization this year—sets the successful U.S.-led approach for increasing global food security and nutrition through programs like Feed the Future. Matt Gross, director of Bread’s organizing department, said building a strong bipartisan list of cosponsors was key to the 2016 passage and will be equally important again. “The more cosponsors leadership sees on a bill, the more likely it is to come up for a vote and pass,” he said.
Including multiple issues is not business as usual at a traditional Offering of Letters workshop, which usually aims to teach participants how to facilitate a letter-writing event. However, the Bread Indiana team is thinking outside the box.
“The leadership team was looking for an opportunity to use the power of the voices gathered to make an immediate impact and building the GFSA list is a big priority for us right now,” Gross said. “Bread for the World advocacy has been growing in Indiana because they are organizing an ever-growing number of voices into targeted action—and it’s paying off.”
One Bread leader who understands the power of multiplication is Charlie Gardner, a member of the leadership team. Gardner encourages multiple churches to work together and combine letters. Last year 42 congregations in central Indiana participated in a joint ecumenical Offering of Letters, delivering 3,630 letters in-district. He’s aiming even higher this year.
“We are hoping that we will have at least 50 congregations this year,” said Gardner, who was happy with the workshop’s turnout, which included many representatives from congregations. In the next two months, churches will hold letter-writing and blessing events and then representatives will reconvene to hand-deliver most of the letters to Indiana’s members of Congress.
Fostering Christian unity is the calling that drives Gardner to come back each year and bring even more congregations along. “When we work together doing what the Gospel calls us to do, then we are not just building stronger relationships across denominations, we are building stronger faith communities based on understanding and not fear,” said Gardner.
Whether it is mobilizing around the GFSA or organizing letters about the U.S. budget, the Indiana team has figured out a winning formula that combines faith, a dedication to ecumenism, and a commitment to strategic action.
Robin Stephenson is senior manager for social media at Bread for the World.
Fostering Christian unity is the calling that drives Gardner to come back each year and bring even more congregations along.
Afghanistan would be considered likely to have high rates of hunger because at least two of the major causes of global hunger affect it—armed conflict and fragile governmental institutions.
Malnutrition is responsible for nearly half of all preventable deaths among children under 5. Every year, the world loses hundreds of thousands of young children and babies to hunger-related causes.
Bread for the World is calling on the Biden-Harris administration and Congress to build a better 1,000-Days infrastructure in the United States.
“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in faith.” These words from Colossians 2:6 remind us of the faith that is active in love for our neighbors.
The Bible on...
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is designed to respond to changes in need, making it well suited to respond to crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bread for the World and its partners are asking Congress to provide $200 million for global nutrition.
In 2017, 11.8 percent of households in the U.S.—40 million people—were food-insecure, meaning that they were unsure at some point during the year about how they would provide for their next meal.