Fighting Poverty With Faith: Working Together to End HungerAugust 9, 2011
Written byElana Fox
In this post, our colleagues at Fighting Poverty With Faith share important information about their fall anti-poverty mobilization, which will focus this year on “Working Together to End Hunger”. They also discuss their excellent new action toolkits.
We are seeing a trend of political divisiveness across the country, where politicians and political rhetoric pull people apart and leave little space for compromise. So what can we do? How can we start to bridge these wide divides?
It is easy to be critical of people you do not know, and of challenges you have not experienced. In other words, don’t judge a person until you’ve walked a mile in his/her shoes.
To help build these shared experiences, the fourth annual Fighting Poverty with Faith mobilization, with the theme “Working Together to End Hunger,” will take place from Thursday, October 27 – Sunday, November 6, 2011. Fighting Poverty with Faith is an annual, interfaith, anti-poverty mobilization that brings together over 50 national faith-based organizations to address root causes of poverty, with the goal of halving domestic poverty between 2010 and 2020.
In 2011, Fighting Poverty with Faith, co-sponsored by the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Catholic Charities, and the National Council of Churches, is “Working Together to End Hunger.” Everyone is invited to participate, as an individual, family, congregation, community or youth group, school, or faith-based organization.
We encourage faith-based and interfaith organizations to come together to plan a Fighting Poverty with Faith program, in particular a Food Stamp Challenge, Hunger Banquet, or screening of the documentary Food Stamped. Each of these programs is described briefly below and more information – including action toolkits, media resources, sample program plans, etc – is available on the Fighting Poverty with Faith website, www.fightingpovertywithfaith.com/f2/actiontoolkits.
- The Food Stamp Challenge is a challenge to live for 1 week on the average food stamp allotment, which is $31.50 for the week and approximately $1.50 per meal. Leaders and community members across the country are taking the Food Stamp Challenge to better understand the food stamp program (formally called SNAP, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), the challenges of eating well on SNAP, and to highlight the continued need for and importance of feeding programs to alleviate hunger in the United States. Spread the word and try to get your friends, neighbors, and community leaders to join you in this Challenge! Register online at www.fightingpovertywithfaith.com/f2/actiontoolkits. If you are planning to take the Food Stamp Challenge, we encourage you to plan a kick-off community-wide event to highlight the effort and educate more community members about SNAP and the challenge of hunger in the US.
- The Fighting Poverty with Faith Oxfam Hunger Banquet is an experiential program designed to teach organizers and participants how hunger impacts people in the United States. Here’s how it works: Guests draw tickets at random that assign them to a high-, middle-, or low-income group. Each income level receives a corresponding meal: The high-income group receives a complete meal such as chicken, mashed potatoes, salad, and sparkling cider; The middle-income group receives a simple meal of a small slice of pizza or a hot dog and soda; The low-income group receives only small portions of white bread and water.
- Host a screening of the documentary film Food Stamped, an informative and humorous documentary film following a couple as they attempt to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet on a food stamp budget. This is a very easy-to-plan community event, especially when used as a kick-off or closing event for the Food Stamp Challenge. Watch the trailer here: http://fightingpovertywithfaith.com/f2/home/foodstamped/. And if you are thinking about hosting a screening, please email Elana (email@example.com) and let us know; depending on interest, Fighting Poverty with Faith may be able to offer communities a copy of the film at a reduced price.
If you are an individual interested in getting involved, but unable to attend or plan a community event, join us by taking the Food Stamp Challenge! Register online at www.fightingpovertywithfaith.com/f2/actiontoolkits. And then share your experience by writing an op-ed, a blog post, or using social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc).
Fighting Poverty with Faith events serve a dual purpose, to educate individuals and communities about the continued challenge of hunger in the United States, and to inspire people to take action to end hunger by protecting the SNAP (food stamps) program from funding cuts and structural changes. Over 44 million Americans rely on SNAP to provide enough food for their families. 47.5% of SNAP recipients are children and 8.3% are seniors. In May 2011, SNAP use reached its highest point ever, with nearly 46 million Americans receiving benefits.
Participating in Fighting Poverty with Faith’s experiential programs can help all Americans understand the challenges of hunger and build the political will to push to protect the SNAP program from funding cuts and structural changes and work to finally end hunger in the United States.
Will you join us?
Please register your events on the Fighting Poverty with Faith national events calendar at http://fightingpovertywithfaith.com/f2/upload-new-events/.
For more information, please contact Elana Fox, JCPA Poverty Campaign Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-212-6037.