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Hunger & Poverty
First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta wanted to reshape its ministries. Standing in the heart of the city since 1848, becoming the first Presbyterian church to lay roots in Atlanta, the congregation has had a long history of community involvement, from serving breakfasts to the homeless every Sunday to providing safe housing to women, to name a few. Still, it was time to think differently, go further and create ministries that would empower people, ministries that would “walk alongside the community,” says the Rev. Rebekah LeMon, executive pastor.
How long, O Lord? This anguished cry flows from the mouths of millions of beleaguered folks in this, the richest nation in the world. We hear reports of the wealth of our richest citizens and see on our streets those who have no place to sleep. We pass beggars at intersections with their cardboard signs asking for a pittance. Our star athletes are offered monumental amounts of money to play the sports we so avidly watch, and even those among them who grossly misbehave can afford fines in the millions of dollars.
From fighting against wage theft to pushing for more affordable housing, the Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance has made its mark by challenging injustice in their southern California enclave since 1992.
In thick coats and caps they marched through a cold and rainy New York City night chanting in broken syllables, “Boy-cott! Wen-dy’s! Boy-cott! Wen-dy’s!”
As a Hunger Action Congregation, Faith Des Peres Presbyterian Church is taking aim at food insecurity in greater St. Louis by providing food for school children and other vulnerable populations.
Raised in both Douglas, Arizona and nearby Agua Prieta, which is just south of the U.S.-Mexico border, artist and community college instructor M. Jenea Sanchez has an interest in the kind of public art that’s a simultaneous expression of hope and resistance.
In mid-August, a video crew supported by Blessed Tomorrow, a Presbyterian Hunger Program partner, filmed chapel service at the Presbyterian Center in Louisville. Portions of the service, as well as an interview with the Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett, Presbyterian Mission Agency president and executive director, are featured in a new climate action video, “Jesus Calls Us.”
Seeing people happy around the table makes me think that something good is happening among them. But seeing people laughing, smiling, talking to each other — and even dancing — around food makes me realize how important the time of fellowship is at the church dinners we share.
Hunger Action is much more than one program or committee in the ministry of First Presbyterian Church in Alton, Illinois.
Food Week of Action is an annual celebration of God’s Creation and the many people around the world who grow the food we eat.