Hunger on the agenda

July 11, 2016

By Vince Gonzales

It's easy to make hunger all about the numbers. We can calmly look at the facts and figures about hunger or the congressional line items and the budget they'd require.

That only makes us lose sight of the reality of the most important aspect of our nation's feeding programs:

Hungry children.

We're trying to raise $40,000 by July 15, and every dollar you give until then will be matched. Help us make sure children experiencing hunger in our communities are served by renewing your support today.

It's on us to make sure hungry children don't fall back into the shadows of apathy. That's the moment we lose our moral compass — when we stop seeing every child, learning their names, or knowing that their hunger means something.

It's on us to make sure our leaders are acting with the speed and urgency required and serving the children who don't have anywhere to turn in the summer months once school lunches aren't available.

Last month, I participated in Bread's annual Lobby Day and met with my members of Congress about funding nutrition programs here and abroad. And as I strolled from office to office, something stunning happened.

I received a message from one of the locations that was serving lunches through the Summer Lunch Program in my hometown of Weatherford, Texas. They had run out of food twice and had a line of hungry kids waiting for a third delivery of food. And this was only the second day of the summer program.

It's on us to ensure our elected officials don't let the millions of kids like the ones in my hometown fall through the cracks. Please give now.

My church, First United Methodist, has been involved in this wonderful program since the summer of 2014. That first summer, we served more than 6,000 lunches. The second year, we served nearly 11,000. I fully expected that we will surpass 15,000 lunches this summer, but I'm still shocked by the current demand.

My congregation, like so many others, puts in countless volunteer hours — feeding people in our community who need a little help. These volunteers are passionate, committed, and willing to do the work — but we can't do it alone.

The government must do its part to support and strengthen our nation's nutrition programs.

Your financial support will help put hunger back on the national agenda to make sure children and adults everywhere have food on their plates. This should not be just up to individual churches and communities. The problem is too big. The solution must be big as well.

We need your renewed support today to reinforce the safety net that keeps our most vulnerable children from hunger. Don't forget that your renewed gift will also be matched — but hurry, as this match offer expires July 15.

Vince Gonzales is a member of Bread for the World.

It's on us to make sure hungry children don't fall back into the shadows of apathy.

Design by Doug Puller/Bread for the World

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