Important decisions will be made in our nation's capital this year that will affect hungry people for decades to come. Nationally, we are experiencing and anticipating some noticeable new beginnings. We have just elected a new Congress, and are beginning the important and often difficult conversations that will shape our citizens' choice of two new candidates for President. As people of faith, we greet this time of new beginnings with a new sense of hope - and responsibility.
Bread for the World is calling on all Christians to take bold action, to work for justice in God's world. "Seeds of Change," our 2007 offering of letters, calls on our leaders to make the U.S. farm bill do what it was intended to do - address rural poverty in the United States - and more. We'll ask that it'll help support all farmers, including the many small farm owners who receive no benefits at all under the current farm policy. We'll ask that it help level the playing field for farmers in developing countries, a move toward justice that research suggests will actually help the U.S. economy. We'll ask that it do a better job of supporting families who receive food stamps, providing nutritious meals in areas where affordable healthy food options can be harder to find, and rewarding good stewards of the earth.
By writing letters to Congress as a sacred act of citizenship, concerned citizens will send an unequivocal message to our leaders: The time for change is now. Our leaders, in turn, can take actions that will have a great impact on hunger at home, and fulfill the promises the United States has made to help end hunger worldwide.
The farm bill is a surprisingly far-reaching and complex piece of legislation. We've devoted this year's Hunger Report, "Healthy Food, Farms, and Families," to a detailed examination of its history, impact, and promise. In June, we will sponsor a gathering in Washington, comprised of a large and diverse number of people who are working to end hunger. This year's gathering will provide unprecedented opportunities for interaction, worship and training.
God cares for all people. No person should be hungry. All people should have justice.
Bread for the World
(This letter originally appeared in The Providence Visitor)