Hunger and poverty
“To all who are concerned with making known to a suffering world the teachings and compassion of Jesus Christ, now is a critical time for addressing the crisis of extreme poverty and widespread hunger.”- "A Call to Reduce Global Poverty and Hunger,"
2006 Annual Conference Resolution
Over and over again the Bible calls us to care for the poor. God calls us to “share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house” (Isa. 58:7 NRSV). Jesus even says the impoverished are an embodiment of him, saying “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Matt. 25:40 NRSV)
Global hunger and poverty
Hunger is the biggest health risk across the globe. Conflict, natural disasters, environmental exploitation, and lack of agricultural infrastructure all cause hunger throughout the globe. In addition, lack of nutrients also weaken immune systems so that people are more susceptible to diseases, stunted mental and physical development, and lack of productivity.
The Global Food Crisis Fund (GFCF) is the primary way that the Church of the Brethren assists hungry people in developing food security.
"If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead."-James 2:15-17 NRSV
Domestic Hunger and Poverty
In the United States, domestic spending in area safety-net programs significantly helps families survive through times of hardship. Low-income tax cuts, tax credits, and poverty-reduction programs make sense. Families and individuals with immediate need for food, shelter, and other basics will spend most if not all of the money they receive to pay for their needs and therefore the money will go back into the U.S. economy immediately.
One of the main ways the United States helps lift people out of poverty and encourages development is through the Farm Bill. The Farm Bill is a large and complex package of legislation that Congress revises and passes again every five years. The bill regulates all of the following areas:Food Assistance
- Has a tremendous impact on feeding programs including SNAP (food stamps), food for food banks and pantries, and grants for local feeding and anti-hunger programs.
- Provides assistance to rural communities to increase services and economic diversity for its residents.
- Sets regulations for American agricultural trade globally, including emergency aid to foreign countries.
- Supplies loans to new farmers, commodities payments and subsidies, and disaster insurance.
- Includes funding for the US forestry, and efforts to conserve natural resources.
These programs and others like Women Infant Child (WIC) benefits ensure that families do not suffer malnutrition because of income loss. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) helps pay rent as parents get back to work so that children are not homeless because of their parent's unemployment.
The Church of the Brethren works with many other faith communities in Fighting Poverty with Faith. The coalition is committed to cutting domestic poverty in half by 2020.
"For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me."
-Matthew 25:35-36 NRSV
- Donate to the Global Food Crisis Fund
- Participate in a CROP walkwith Church World Service
- Join Brethren Volunteer Serviceand work to alleviate hunger
- Sign up for a Brethren workcamp
In a world where injustice and inequities are the cause of so much suffering, misery, and death, the church cannot be silent. The church, as Christ’s body, must place itself clearly on the side of the poor and the oppressed”- Statement on World Mission Philosophy and Program, 1981 Annual Conference
Ecumenical and Interfaith Partners
“Poverty is therefore not an ‘out-there’ problem, but an ‘everywhere’ problem.”- Caring for the Poor, 2000 Annual Conference