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Hunger & Poverty
When you go to the local grocery store or purchase a meal at a favorite restaurant how much do you know about how the food is grown, gathered and prepared? What is your church doing to end hunger and poverty in your community or across the globe? These are some of the questions Presbyterians and the public are asked to consider this October during Global Food Week of Action and World Food Day.
The people of northern Cameroon are mourning the recent passing of Elias Gondji, the architect behind a food program that has made a significant impact in communities dealing with drought and hunger issues. Gondji worked with RELUFA, a nonpartisan network of ecumenical and secular nonprofit organizations and churches.
Deteriorating conditions in the South Sudanese capital city of Juba have left thousands of people in desperate need of food, shelter and health services. Fighting broke out between rival factions on July 8 and while a ceasefire is currently in place, the humanitarian needs have escalated.
If Jessica Fitzgerald asks your church to get involved in hunger and poverty issues in your community, be prepared to say yes. No is not an answer she will accept. Fitzgerald is the Hunger Action Advocate for the Presbytery of Eastern Virginia. It’s one of many hats she wears for the presbytery and she’s gotten quite good at it the past five years.
At least two and a half million people are trapped in modern-day slavery according to information released by the United Nations in 2015. One in four of those who are kidnapped, tricked or manipulated into some form of slavery such as forced labor, organ removal or prostitution is a child.
For the third year in a row, a group of avid cyclists between 30 and 70 years of age will take to the California roads this September to combat hunger. The Pedal for Protein ride is scheduled for September 18-22. The Presbytery of the Redwoods launched the ride two years ago to help community food pantries provide protein-rich foods to families in need.
The Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders (SAFSF), an organization that promotes the sustainability and the well being of people, animals, and our planet through food and agriculture systems, held its 14th annual forum recently in Louisville, KY. Its work closely aligns with the Presbyterian Hunger Program (PHP). PHP Associate for National Hunger Concerns, Andrew Kang Bartlett, who serves on the SAFSF Steering Committee, helped introduce this year’s forum and was among an extensive list of speakers during the three-day event.
While commissioners and advisory delegates worked hard in committees, 14 observers and mid-council staff attending the 222nd General Assembly (2016) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) meeting in Portland, Oregon worked to end hunger at the Oregon Food Bank Monday night. Joining two dozen other volunteers, the group repacked more than seven tons of carrots from 50-pound bags to more user-friendly sacks.
Where can you go to find crosses made from recycled car parts, jewelry created from rain forest seeds, or a good cup of coffee that supports farmers seeking to provide a better life for their families? If you are attending the 222nd General Assembly in Portland, you need only go as far as the exhibit hall.
For Don Shaw, there is no such thing as retirement. Although serving a congregation as a teaching elder, he has found work as a volunteer to be complex and different, but also rewarding and challenging.