Bread for the World

2018 Offering of Letters Campaign

2018 Offering of Letters Campaign

Who are the “Food Insecure” for whom we advocate in the US Budget process through our Parish participation in the Bread for the World (BFW) 2018 Offering of Letters? 

In previous bulletins, we identified the American working poor. They are the majority of those who are helped out of poverty by temporary assistance from the many National programs that make up the Safety Net. We considered stories of school age children, low-income women, infants and children up to five, plus college students. American Seniors also need assistance from these programs at an alarming rate. 3.9 million Seniors live below the poverty level and countless others live marginally above in food insecurity. Their numbers have been growing and could grow by another 50 percent by 2025. Is this how we want to treat our beloved parents, grandparents and elders in what should be their golden years?

US Foreign Assistance programs, which save millions of lives each year, are also targeted for drastic cuts. US Agency for International Development (USAID) assistance helps countries develop self-sufficiency and provides food and humanitarian relief for emergency/disaster situations. Globally, 815 million people live in undernourished situations leading to 2.5 million child deaths annually. South Sudan, where 8 of 10 people live on $1 per day, demonstrates USAID effectiveness. South Sudan faces famine from years of war and drought yet has thousands of acres of fertile land in the County of Renk. USAID projects have helped farmers there to develop their ability to grow their own food and export as well. Bishop Atern, Episcopal Bishop of the growing region, said that the region could feed the whole country with further assistance. The constant war violence makes it difficult and dangerous for aid workers to do so.

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) wrote letters to the US Congress on March 03, 2017: “Our Conference supports the goal of reducing future unsustainable deficits, and believe our nation has an obligation to address their impact on the health of the economy. At the same time, a just framework for the federal budget cannot rely on disproportionate cuts in essential services to poor and vulnerable persons.” “The needs of those who are hungry and homeless, vulnerable and at risk, without work or in poverty should come first.”

You can help by signing letters to our Senators the weekend of June 09/10 in support of maintaining these critical programs. Details on the process will be in next week’s bulletin.