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Bread for the World will gather more than 100 leaders of various faiths Sept. 21-22 in Washington, D.C., to reflect on Pope Francis’ teachings on hunger and poverty. They will join Catholic leaders in welcoming the pope to the United States and commit their faith communities to help make hunger and poverty a national priority.
“Pope Francis is urging people around the world to pray and act to end hunger,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “The world has made dramatic progress against hunger and poverty over the last generation, so we know it’s really possible to end hunger and extreme poverty by 2030 – worldwide and certainly in the U.S.”
As an organization whose mission is to end hunger, Bread for the World wants to take advantage of the pope’s visit to galvanize the commitment within the U.S. faith community to raise the nation’s consciousness of hunger. Since his election as pope, Francis has made the world’s poor a focus of many of his statements and teachings. Bread for the World expects Francis to make hunger a prominent topic of discussion during his visit.
Pope Francis will arrive in Washington on Sept. 23. He will meet with President Obama and will be the first pope in history to address the U.S. Congress. On Sept. 25, he will address the United Nations General Assembly in New York. His address to the U.N. will come at a time when the international body will consider adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, which lay out a plan for addressing hunger and poverty over the next 15 years.
“The progress that the world is making against hunger and poverty is an expression of our loving God in our time,” said Beckmann. “But to achieve the progress that God has made possible, we should work to make hunger and poverty a U.S. national priority by 2017.”
By Marlysa D. Gamblin and Kathleen King
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