• Every day almost 16,000 children die from hunger-related causes—one child every five seconds.
• 854 million people are hungry.
• In developing nations, one person in six goes hungry and lacks safe drinking water.
• Nearly 36 million Americans—including more than 12 million children—live in households that experience hunger. This represents more than one in 10 households in the U.S.
• In 2006, 26.7 million people participated in the food stamp program each month (8.6 percent of the U.S. population).
• The wealthiest fifth of the world’s people consumes 86 percent of all goods and services, while the poorest fifth consumes 1 percent.
• Learn more about hunger through the ELCA World Hunger Program and Lutheran World Relief’s Virtual University (a monthly online class) and study visits.
• Take the ELCA World Hunger Appeal $5 Challenge. If every baptized ELCA member gave $5 to the appeal, a $25 million goal will be reached.
• Give to Stand With Africa to assist communities and churches in their work to overcome HIV/AIDS, banish hunger and build peace.
• Join the ELCA e-advocacy network to take action on social policy issues related to domestic and international hunger, poverty and the environment.
• Use the ELCA Good Gifts catalog for alternative gift suggestions related to water, agriculture, women and children, training and education, health care and other issues.
• Participate in Bread for the World’s Offering of Letters campaign, March through August 2008, to advocate for more funding for foreign aid programs and for passage of the Global Poverty Act (800-82-BREAD).
• Take the Food Stamp Challenge to better understand the challenge that millions of low-income Americans face in obtaining a healthy diet on the national average food stamp benefit of $1 per person, per meal.
• Join the One Campaign to fight global poverty, hunger and disease.
• Participate in a CROP walk to raise money for local and international hunger projects.
• Learn about the connection between lifestyle and hunger—how to simplify your lifestyle, “challenge consumerism, live justly and celebrate responsibly” (Alternatives for Simple Living, 800-821-6153).
• Purchase fair-trade items, such as coffee, chocolate and handcrafts.
• Participate in the “Souper Bowl of Caring” on the same Sunday as the NFL’s Super Bowl (Feb. 3 this year). Collect money and/or cans of food to support local, national and international anti-hunger efforts.
• Consider holding a world hunger appeal emphasis on a Sunday close to World Food Day, Oct. 16.
Jason Mendoza and his fiancee, Krista Oppie, like many other Lutherans, took the Food Stamp Challenge to learn firsthand about the hardships that millions of low-income Americans face in obtaining a healthy diet under current food stamp benefit levels. At presstime, Congress was in the process of reauthorizing or writing a new U.S. Farm Bill, which includes the Food Stamp Program. The ELCA Washington Office has encouraged Lutherans to call or write their member of Congress to ask that the per-meal benefit for the Food Stamp Program be raised.
|Krista Oppie, a student at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minn., and Jason Mendoza, Seattle, spent less than a week trying to exist on food purchased with food stamps. “We felt completely grumpy, irritable and edgy,” Mendoza admitted. The Food Stamp Challenge, highly publicized last fall, encouraged Lutherans to experience firsthand what others do day by day, week by week.|
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