An Interview with Art Simon

July 17, 2019
Art Simon

We sat down with Bread for the World founder Rev. Art Simon to talk with him about his new book, “Silence Can Kill.”

BREAD: What prompted you to write “Silence Can Kill”?

ART: I wanted to make a clear, compelling case that charity is not enough to end hunger; so, government leadership and citizen action are essential. Our silence as citizens is killing people and diminishing life on a very large scale.

BREAD: What were some of the challenges you faced in writing the book?

ART: The big challenge was the crisis that exploded with the 2016 presidential election. That exposed how economic and racial inequalities are undermining our democracy, the same inequalities that underlie hunger and poverty. So, in the second half of the book, I propose a more inclusive economy –one that works for everybody.

BREAD: That requires hope. With so much going wrong, what makes you hopeful today?

ART: As a Christian, my hope is not anchored in the latest poll or the next election, but in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. That sets me free to keep working for justice whether the momentary trends are good or bad. 

BREAD: Rick Steves notes in his foreword to “Silence Can Kill” that your first book, “Bread for the World,” inspired many to use their citizenship to address the causes of hunger. The list of those who have endorsed “Silence Can Kill” is impressive. That should inspire others.

ART: I was gratified that the endorsements came from respected liberals and conservatives. That encourages me to think the book is on the right track. Ending hunger would be so humane and is so achievable that making it a national goal could bring us together across partisan lines and help us see how to deal with other injustices that currently tie us in knots.

BREAD: What would you like your readers to take away from this book?

ART: That ending hunger is not a stand-alone goal but deeply connected to racial, social and economic justice. I hope readers will have a better grasp of the crisis we face in our nation and the huge importance of speaking up to end hunger. The United States is the richest country in the world.  That 40 million of us live in poverty, and an overlapping 40 million face food insecurity is a terrible inconsistency. Shameful. We need to bend the nation’s arc toward justice.

BREAD: What special words do you have for Bread for the World members as we work together to end hunger?

ART: Anchor your life in God’s grace. Pursue with all your heart the mercy and justice of God. And pray fervently that God’s will may be done here on earth. We do that in the Lord’s prayer but perhaps with little thought about its deep meaning.



from our Resource Library

For Education

  • Election Resources

    One of the best times to raise the issues of hunger and poverty is during election campaigns. Engage candidates in your state/district on hunger and poverty using our elections resources.
  • Racially Equitable Responses to Hunger During COVID-19 and Beyond

    By Marlysa D. Gamblin and Kathleen King

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines food insecurity as when a person or household does not have regular, reliable access to the foods needed for good health. Black, Indigenous, and Other People of Color (BIPOC) have historically had higher...

  • Fact Sheet: COVID-19 Global Pandemic, Better Nutrition Protects Lives

    With the coronavirus now spreading in low-resource contexts and new waves of infection expected in the coming year, better nutrition for vulnerable people is more important than ever.

For Faith

  • Finding Hope, Ending Hunger on Both Sides of the Border: A Bilingual Latino Devotional

    Devotional writers challenge us to feel the Spirit of God within us and to hear God’s urgent call to demand justice so all can put food on the table.
  • The Bible on Health as a Hunger Issue

    “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...

  • 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...

For Advocacy


African at Heart

November 22, 2019


From the Blog