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Hunger & Poverty
If Luis Ramos Salgado had tried to ride the storm out in his home, he wouldn’t be able to walk down his street on this sunny morning.
“I’d be dead,” he says through a translator, standing in the kitchen of the only home he’s ever known in San Juan’s Caño Martín Peña area.
It’s a pretty port of call.
Mere blocks from where cruise ships pull into San Juan terminal, visitors can find enticing Old San Juan, with its mix of history, shops and restaurants, all open for business, even on a warm but quiet Tuesday night. Veering right, visitors can find conveniences such as bike rentals and a CVS pharmacy, all up and running.
“People go to hotels, Old San Juan and they see the stores open, lights … and they say, ‘Oh, everything is back to normal,’” the Rev. Edwin A. González-Castillo says.
Except it’s not.
Fresh out of seminary, a pastor listens intently as the chair of the nominating committee drives around the countryside, narrating the history of a rural community that has seen better days. As she listens, she takes note of the sagging porches with faded and torn upholstered furniture. They pass sheep grazing behind a dilapidated barn, and the pastor silently reminds God that this was not what she had in mind when she said “yes” to tending the flock.
A citywide interfaith Service of Light & Remembrance, hosted by Faith Forward Dallas, will be held to remember neighbors in Dallas County, Texas, who died homeless during this past year. The service will take place at First Presbyterian Church of Dallas on Sunday, November 4, starting at 4 p.m.
Twenty-seven years of Saturdays, approximately 1,400 consecutive weekends of serving the “best meal in town,” is a pretty good track record of commitment. That’s how long Third Presbyterian Church in Rochester, New York, has been running its dining room ministry, a hot meal program that started in 1991 and serves approximately 80 people each week. But that’s not enough for this 1,200-member congregation in north central New York. Their emergency food program has been similarly active for more than 20 years, and another hunger initiative, the East Avenue Grocery Run, a mere child at 9 years old, might be the most impactful program of all three.
La Semana de Acción de las Iglesias por los Alimentos comenzó el domingo 14 de octubre, y se extenderá hasta el 21 de octubre. La semana ofrece al pueblo cristiano de todo el mundo la oportunidad de abordar las cuestiones de justicia y sostenibilidad alimentaria. La Semana de Acción de las Iglesias por los Alimentos incluye el Día Mundial de la Alimentación (16 de octubre), el Día Internacional de la Mujer Rural (15 de octubre), y el Día Internacional para la Erradicación de la Pobreza (17 de octubre). Este año, el Programa Presbiteriano contra el Hambre (PHP) celebra a más de 100 congregaciones que actúan contra el hambre (HAC) que abogan por la justicia alimentaria no sólo una semana, sino durante todo el año, como parte de su ministerio.
The Global Food Week of Action began Sunday, Oct. 14, and runs through Oct. 21. The week provides Christians around the world a chance to address food justice and sovereignty issues. Food Week of Action includes World Food Day (Oct. 16), International Day for Rural Women (Oct. 15), and International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (Oct. 17). This year, the Presbyterian Hunger Program (PHP) celebrates more than 100 congregations as Hunger Action Congregations (HAC) that advocate for food justice not just one week during the year, but year-round, as part of their ministry outreach.
Many churches preach about poverty and hunger a few times a year, but Tippecanoe Presbyterian Church in Milwaukee lives out its ministries with the poor 365 days a year.
Can million-dollar donations to anti-hunger groups be a bad thing? Should Christians who are called to serve and work toward eliminating hunger and poverty in our communities question corporate generosity as a viable tool to achieve a faithful goal? Food activist and author Andrew Fisher recently presented these questions and more at a University of Louisville event that was co-sponsored by the Presbyterian Hunger Program. Fisher spoke to an audience of approximately 50 graduate and undergraduate students and a smaller number of community members interested in hunger issues, detailing the “unholy alliance” that exists between corporate America and anti-hunger organizations.
“I’m just the pastor. This congregation rocks!” Such is the outlook of Kirk Perucca, pastor at Covenant Presbyterian Church. This small, ethnically diverse congregation located south of downtown Kansas City, Missouri, has been a Presbyterian Hunger Program Certified Hunger Action Congregation since 2017, but has been advocating hunger, fairness and justice issues for most of its 110-year-plus existence.