Note: This post was originally published on the Bread Blog.
Have you ever been hungry? I mean, Really. Hungry. As in no-food-in-the-house-and-no-resources-for-getting-more hungry?
I haven’t. Oh sure, there’ve been some months when expenses were bigger than income and I didn’t know how to pay some bills. But I’ve always had support – financial and otherwise – from my family when needed.
We all know that’s not the case for everyone. Right now:
- 48.8 million Americans are at risk of hunger.
- 15% of Americans – including more than 1 in 5 children – live in poverty.
Tragically, the House recently passed a budget that could make more Americans hungry.
That is unacceptable to me.
That is why the church I serve, Woodridge United Methodist, recently sent 100 letters to Senator Mark Kirk and Senator Dick Durbin urging them create a circle of protection around domestic nutrition programs vital to hungry and poor Americans, programs like SNAP and WIC.
I signed Bread for the World’s petition urging Congress not to cut SNAP for the same reason: deliberately making more people hungry – and making all ready hungry people even hungrier – is unacceptable. It is unacceptable to me as a father, as a pastor, as a Christian, as a human being.
I need my members of Congress to know that. So Senator Durbin, Senator Kirk, and Representative Judy Biggert will see my name on Bread’s petition. I hope your members of Congress will see your name as well.
To make up the gap created by those proposed cuts to SNAP churches and charities would need to do everything they’re currently doing to fight hunger…and come up with an average of an additional $50,000 each year!
$50,000!? I know our church does not have that kind of spare change sitting around. And I know that our friends at the West Suburban Community Pantry have already seen demand for their services increase sharply – from serving 750 families per month to 1200. That Pantry does incredible work in our community, feeding over 35,000 people last year, including over 15,000 children. They are maxed out too.
That’s another reason I signed the petition. I seriously doubt Woodridge has the resources to care for even more hungry people in our community.
I agree that budget deficits, especially at our current level, are unsustainable. But reducing our deficit by making hungry people hungrier is immoral.
The biblical witness is clear: as followers of God in the way of Jesus we are called to protect hungry and vulnerable people. We are called to speak with them. Signing this petition is a terrific, and let’s be honest, easy way to do exactly that.
Will you join me in raising your voice with and for hungry and vulnerable Americans?