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Bread for the World denounces the recent killings of George Floyd and generations of Africans and their descendants in the U.S. and around the globe who have been devastated by structural racism and inequity.Read Statement
By Nancy Neal
Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico. Infrastructure crumbled under the heavy winds and rains. Power lines blew and the electricity went out all over the island. Cell towers went down, and communication came to an abrupt stop. Puerto Ricans in the United States were unable to communicate with their family members for days.
We are hearing that power will be out in rural areas for upwards of 12 months. Even in urban areas, estimates are two to three months in places. Hospitals are without power and running on generators. But with limited gasoline, the generators can’t keep up with the demand for power. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is in Puerto Rico, these emergency management services will be critical for months to come.
Families are struggling to find food and clean water. Children of families living in poverty will be out of school for months, keeping them from receiving important school meals. And the Nutrition Assistance Program (NAP), the equivalent of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in the United States, will not be expanded during this time of crisis to address the increased need during this recovery program because its funding comes from a block grant.
Puerto Rican residents, U.S. citizens, are flying from the island to mainland cities like New York, Miami, and Orlando to stay with family members. SNAP benefits will be critical for the survival of these family members when they arrive. Other safety-net programs will also be critical for their recovery.
Jesus’ ministry was one of healing and reconciliation. It was a ministry reconciling God and God’s people, but it was also one of bringing those who were outcast back into the fold. Lepers were made clean so that they could come back into the community. Those who were blind were given sight so they could contribute to the needs of the community instead of begging.
As members of Congress make decisions about the federal budget, they must do so with an eye toward drawing people closer and not pushing them to the margins. A strong safety net helps to keep people from falling deeper into poverty. It gives people an opportunity to participate in the economy, to participate in their communities. Strong programs of investment in communities destroyed in storms will give people opportunities to participate in building resilient communities with strong economies.
Investments in poverty-focused development programs help to provide resources for communities around the world to strengthen their nutrition and education, infrastructure, and to build resilient communities with sustainable economies.
Nancy Neal is the interim director of church relations at Bread for the World.
A strong safety net helps to keep people from falling deeper into poverty.
These fact sheets provide a snapshot of hunger and poverty in the United States and in each state plus Washington, D.C.
Conflict is a main driver of the recent increase in hunger around the world and of forced migration. Hunger also contributes to conflict.
“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.
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This devotional guide invites deepened relationship with and among Pan-African people and elected leaders in the mission to end hunger and poverty.
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 the fiscal year 2020 budget.
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.