Wednesday, January 18, 2017

2017 Offering of Letters: Doing Our Part to End Hunger

Toolkits to help congregations and other faith communities participate in Bread for the World’s 2017 Offering of Letters, Doing Our Part to End Hunger, will be available in late February

(Stay tuned for details of an Offering of Letters workshop in Albuquerque and possibly another one in Santa Fe sometime in March).  

The Offering of Letters is focused on urging members of Congress to make funding decisions that put our country and the world on track toward ending hunger. We want Congress to fund and protect programs such as SNAP, WIC, international poverty focused development assistance, and tax credits for low-income workers.

The 2017 toolkit for coordinators of letter-writing events will contain many of the same items that past years’ kits have contained — how-to-information on planning an event, an explanation of the issue, items to help promote your event, videos to show during a presentation, a sample PowerPoint presentation, and more.

The Offering of Letters content will be on the Bread for the World website. 

In addition, materials will be available in Spanish.

You can order: online from the Bread Store
by calling 800/822-7323, ext. 1072
by emailing

(reprinted from the Bread January Newsletter)

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Safeguarding Our Nutrition Safety Net

Statement by National Anti- Hunger Organizations 

Sustainable Development Goal #2
December 14, 2016 ─ Our organizations, which make up the National Anti-Hunger Organizations, are committed to ensuring a strong and effective national nutrition safety net for vulnerable, low-income individuals and families. With a united voice, we reflect on the hunger problem in America and its solutions as we transition to a new president and a new Congress.

There are 42 million people in this country--13 million of them children and over 5 million of them seniors--living in households struggling with hunger. This problem would be far, far worse if not for the nation’s very effective anti-hunger programs:
  • the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program ( SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) ;
  • the National School Breakfast and School Lunch programs;
  • the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) that provides nutritious meals for children in child care, Head Start, and afterschool programs and shelters;
  • the Summer Meals programs; 
  • the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC);
  • The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) , which provides commodities to food banks;
  • the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations; and
  • nutrition programs for the elderly (e.g., the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) and congregate and home-delivered meals).
Sustainable Development Goal #1
Together, these federal nutrition programs reduce hunger and poverty, improve health and learning, increas e productivity, create jobs, and strengthen our communities. They help the many people in our country—of all ages, races, ethnicities , and life circumstances—who are struggling. This includes seniors, children, people with disabilities, military and veterans’ families, low-wage workers, unemployed and underemployed adults, and others.

In particular, SNAP, as our nation’s first line of defense against hunger, has the broadest reach. It is structured to respond effectively to need as a result of economic downturns, natural disasters, and other causes.

Get Involved
We now are expanding the reach of this common message to include national, state and local organizations demonstrating the diverse groundswell of support for the federal nutrition programs. Follow this link to view and sign your organization (organizations only, please) onto this statement.

We aim to get thousands of organizational signatures. To achieve this level of support it is imperative that we all reach out to our networks in every state and Congressional District.  We urge you to disseminate this advocacy ask as widely as possible.

This sign-on letter will be shared with all Members of Congress and the new Administration.

Deadline: This letter will be a key advocacy resource for the National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference, March 5th-7th in Washington, DC.  Follow this link for more on the conference. Please sign your organization onto this letter by Wednesday, March 1 to ensure your organization is listed in the FRAC Lobby Day (March 7) materials.
Soon, the new Congress and President-elect Trump will be sworn in and will begin making key decisions. We call on them to recommit America to one of its most important and widely agreed-upon beliefs , one that has deep and long-standing bipartisan support: nobody in this country should go hungry. We call on them to safeguard the federal nutrition programs, including protecting the programs against block grants or other structural changes that would undermine the ir effectivenes ; fully fund ing these programs and defend ing them against bud get cuts; and taking steps to assure all hungry people in our country receive the help they need. We look forward to working with the new Congress and President-elect Trump toward the goal of ending hunger in the United States.

The Alliance to End Hunger

Bread for the World
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Congressional Hunger Center
Feeding America
Food Research and Action Center
Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger
Meals on Wheels America

No Kid Hungry
Society of St. Andrew

Monday, January 16, 2017

The First Step

If we are to have peace on earth, our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective. -Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

A True Conversion to God

Always remember that there is no conversion to God if there is no conversion to the oppressed. - -Ignacio Ellacuría, S.J
On the weekend that we celebrate Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, we bring attention to the writings of a kindred spirit: Jesuit Father Ignacio Ellacuría, who often wrote about poverty and inequality in El Salvador. He and five other Jesuit priests, a housekeeper and her daughter were massacred by members of an elite unit of the Salvadoran military at their residence on the grounds of the Universidad Centroamericana José Simeón Cañas in November, 1989. Here is a quote from Father Ellacuría.  

Today in our situation the authenticity of the people of God goes by way of poverty and justice: they are the touchstone of the truth of the faith that is professed and of the genuineness of life as it is lived out.

Poverty, which involves incarnating all our efforts and incarnating ourselves in the reality of the oppressed majorities, and that will necessarily entail a voluntary impoverishment and abnegation on the part of those who wield power. 

Justice, which involves giving to the people what belongs to the people and struggling to uproot injustice and exploitation, and to establish a new earth, wherein the life of the new human may be possible.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Dialogue, Prayer and Christian Unity

May this momentous moment find you on tiptoes - awaiting wonders yet to be imagined. With January comes many opportunities to be together as an ecumenical community to pray. Please pray as if the world depended upon it!  -Rev. Kay Huggins, interim director, New Mexico Conference of Churches

Several opportunities for dialogue and prayer have been scheduled during the second half of January and into February to commemorate the recent striking down of barriers between Catholics and Protestants, particularly on the 500th anniversary of The Reformation. These gatherings and prayer services, including opportunities for Lutheran-Catholic Dialogue, are part of the local efforts to celebrate the annual International Week of Prayer for Christian Unity on January 18-25.

Here is a listing of meetings and prayer in the Albuquerque area and other communities in New Mexico, an ecumenical prayer service on January 20 and a Vigil for the Earth on January 23.  Most of the events on this list come courtesy of the New Mexico Conference of Churches.

Sunday, January 15, 12 noon, St. Joseph on the Rio Grande Catholic Church, 5901 St. Joseph’s Dr. NW, Albuquerque The Archdiocese of Santa Fe African American Catholic Community will hostr the Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Mass and Celebration. Reflection by Rev. Elwood McDowell, of Tucson, AZ. For more information, please call 505-836-3627 or 505-831-8167. E-mail

Tuesday, January 17, 7:30-8:30, pm Hope in the Desert Episcopal Church, Prayer & Healing Service in the Style of Taizé. Doors open at 7:00pm for quiet prayer and meditation. The service begins at 7:30 and ends promptly at 8:30pm. For more information, contact Rev. Ruth at the Church or at 463-5719 (cell)

Mondays, January 17- Febuary 20, 7-9 pm, Rio Rancho Lutherans and Catholics Dialogue: Church of the Incarnation 2309 Monterrey Rd NE, Rio Rancho

Tuesdays January 18- February 21, 7-9 pm, Westside Lutherans and Catholics Dialogue: Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Church, 5415 Fortuna Road NW, Albuquerque 87105

Wednesdays, January 19-February 22, 7-9 pm, Northeast Heights Lutherans and Catholics Dialogue: St. Luke Lutheran Church, 9100 Menaul Blvd NE, Albuquerque 87110

Abbot Joel Garner at National Week of Christian Unity, 2014
Friday, January 20, 2017, 7:00 pm, an Ecumenical Prayer Service with guest Abbot Joel Garner and musicians at Our Lady of the Annunciation NE, 2621 Vermont, NE, Albuquerque. Reception to follow. Please call 505-298-7553 for more information.

Friday, January 20, 2017, 7:30 pm, Taizé in the Desert, Norbertine Abbey of Santa Maria de la Vid, 5825 Coors Blvd SW Albuquerque. Leave the noise of modern life behind for an evening of prayer! Fellowship and refreshments following the service. All are welcome. For questions please contact Taylor Kingston at (505)831-8142 or

Sunday, January 22, 2017, 3:00 pm, an Ecumenical Prayer and Worship Service at Holy Cross Church - Iglesia de Santa Cruz de la Cañada, Santa Cruz, N.M. Fellowship and light refreshments to follow at 4:30 pm in Marian Hall. Music will be provided by Frances Castellano and group. Please call Felice Gurule at 505-929-2955 or the parish at 505-753-3345 for more information.

Monday, January 23, 2017,  5:30 pm, at Immaculate Conception Church, 619 Copper Ave. NW, Albuquerque. Prayer Vigil for Earth, part of the 100 Prayer Events within 100 hours of Inauguration sponsored by New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017,  6:00 pm, the Annual Taizé Ecumenical Prayer Service at the Santuario de Chimayó. The service will take place in the Santo Niño Chapel on the Santuario grounds. Please call 505-689-2404 for more information.

Wednesday, January 25, 6:30 pm a Bilingual Ecumenical Prayer Service at Camino de Vida Presbyterian Church, 3907 Isleta Blvd SW Albuquerque, N.M. Please call New Mexico Conference of Churches, 505 243-6234

Bishop Jim Gonia
Sunday, January 29, 3 pm, Prayer Service. Archbishop John C. Wester of Archdiocese of Santa Fe and Bishop James Gonia, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, St. Luke Lutheran Church, 9100 Menaul Blvd NE, Albuquerque. The liturgy will highlight the agreements that have been reached through 50 years of dialogue between Catholics and Lutherans on topics such as the Church, Ministry and the Eucharist. Members of local Lutheran and Catholic parishes also will share in leading the service. People of all faith traditions are welcome and rostered ministers of all faith traditions are invited to vest and process. The color of the day is green.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Conflict, Climate Change Big Obstacles to Ending Hunger by 2030

Ending hunger is a moral imperative. It is especially so in fragile situations where the odds are stacked against vulnerable people and the barriers that they face are the highest. If we continue on the current path, it is estimated that by 2030, two-thirds of the people who experience hunger will live in fragile states.  Bread for the World Institutute 2017 Hunger Report
The 2017 Hunger Report published by the Bread for the World Institute in November 2016 offers a good news/bad news scenario. The world has made great strides in reducing overall hunger around the world, thanks in part to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Given this level of progress, it is realistic to dream that the global community can meet the goal of ending hunger by 2030, which is the target in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The report, entitled Fragile Environments, Resilient Communities, lists a few major obstacles that stand in the way of this goal. They include intense conflict in some areas of the world and the impact of climate change, which threatens agricultural production in many areas.

Here are a few quotes from the executive summary of the report:
  • The world has made dramatic progress against hunger and extreme poverty in recent decades. In 1990, approximately one in four people in the world lived with hunger on a daily basis. By 2015, the hunger rate was cut nearly in half and stood at about one in nine. Over the same period, extreme poverty was cut by even more, from one in three people in the world to one in ten.
  • At no other time in human history has progress against hunger and poverty occurred so rapidly. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) provided a framework to mobilize global action against hunger and poverty and other development objectives. The MDGs were not the only reason for this dramatic progress but they made a difference.
  • Recent trends give optimists good reason to believe that ending hunger and poverty is within reach. At the same time, the world faces daunting challenges. Tragedies on an unimaginable scale are occurring in different parts of the world. The wars in Syria and South Sudan and the near famine conditions in places where war and climate change collide are enough to challenge anyone’s optimism about ending hunger and poverty. Conflict is one of the greatest threats to ending hunger. More people die from hunger and disease in conflict zones than from violence.
  • Syria and South Sudan are among a group of nations the international development community often refer to as fragile states. While there is no universal definition of fragility, these are nations where high rates of hunger and poverty are compounded by civil conflict, poor governance, and vulnerability to climate change. Fragile places present the greatest challenge in ending hunger and poverty.
  • The potential for climate change to destabilize countries in some of the most volatile regions of the world is why the U.S. military considers it to be a threat to national security
Read Full Executive Summary
Download Full Report
Order Hard Copy of Report ($20)

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Documentary about Refugee Children to Show at Guild Cinema

Refugee Kids presents an intimate, emotionally gripping account of the students’ stories of escaping war and conflict and resettling in America, chronicling their triumphs and setbacks as their lives unfold over the course of one formative summer. The film humanizes complex geopolitics and depict the challenges and urgency of immigration to America in an increasingly dangerous – and interconnected – world.
Photo: Refugee Youth Mentoring Program page on Facebook
The documentary, Refugee Kids: One Small School Takes On the World, made its debut in many communities around the U.S. in the fall of 2015. It has taken more than a year, but the film is finally making it to Albuquerque!

Mark your calendars for Sunday, January 22,  1:00 p.m. at the Guild Cinema, 3405 Central Ave. (Map) The screening will be a fundraiser for the Refugee Youth Mentoring Program at Catholic Charities. Tickets are $5.00

The documentary, by award-winning filmmakers Renée Silverman and Peter Miller, follows students at a New York City summer program for children seeking asylum from the world’s most volatile conflicts.  Below is a trailer.

from Renee Silverman on Vimeo.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Reclaiming Our Prophetic Voices

Interfaith Worker Justice-New Mexico 
 invites you to 
"Witness for the People "
Monday, January 16, 2:00 PM 
in the Rotunda of the Roundhouse

People of faith and conscience will gather to hear the State of Our State Address and proclaim our priorities for the 2017 Legislative Session. This year, the legislature will meet for 60 days. The event will also feature The New Mexico Peace Choir, directed by Christy Conduff. The gathering will follow the Martin Luther King Day Celebration sponsored by the Santa Fe NAACP

Interfaith Worker Justice-New Mexico has organized the event at the start of the legislative session for the past several years. Rev. Dr. James Forbes of Riverside Church in New York was featured at the gathering in 2015. Rev. Bert Scott also offered a prayer that year on behalf of the Interfaith Hunger Coalition.
 We aim to recover our prophetic voices

Woe to those who build their palaces
by unrighteousness, their upper rooms by injustice,making their own people work for nothing, not paying them for their labor.
- Jeremiah 22.13

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Angel Choirs Sing During Epiphany

When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy.  Matthew 2: 9-10
The 2nd Annual Youth and Young Adult Choir Festival for the Epiphany 2017.
Basilica of St. Ignatius in Rome.
The Bishop Lynch A Cappella Choir
Kathy Leos, Director
Brent McWilliams, Accompanist

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Sixty Nine Samples of Soup (or Dessert)

2016 Albuquerque fundraiser (photo: Roadrunner Food Bank)
Chefs from 69 restaurants in New Mexico are contributing their culinary skills to help end hunger in our state on the last two weekends of January. These two Souper Bowl events, planned in conjunction with the NFL title game, help our state's two largest food banks, Food Depot in Santa Fe and Roadrunner Food Bank in Albuquerque, to raise funds to provide hundreds of thousands of meals to the most vulnerable families and individuals around the state. Here is information about the two events:

Food Depot Benefit
Saturday, January 21
Santa Fe Convention Center, 
201 Marcy St. (map)
Noon-2:30 p.m.

Ticket holders will sample soups and vote for their favorites from 29 local restaurants. For this one of a kind fundraising event, the creative genius of local chefs will be demonstrated in the signature soup each will prepare.

Chefs compete for best soup in four categories—Cream, Savory, Seafood, and Vegetarian—plus Best Soup of the competition.

Ticket holders will be invited to sample the soups presented by competing chefs in each category and cast their ballot for their favorite soup. Voting closes at 2:00 pm and winners are announced before the event ends.

Tickets are on sale now! Presale tickets are just $30 for adults and $10 for children ages 6-12. Children under 6 get free admission.Tickets are on sale now! Presale tickets are just $30 for adults and $10 for children ages 6-12. Children under 6 get free admission.  Purchase Tickets

Roadrunner Food Bank Benefit
Saturday, January 28
Roadrunner Food Bank Warehouse
5840 Office Blvd. NE (map)
11:00-2:00 p.m.

Join us for our annual soup and dessert sampling event! Every year about 40 local area restaurants and chefs join us and provide guests savory soups and delectable desserts. Guests also enjoy live music, the chance to win great prizes such as Southwest Airline tickets, and much more. Attendees also have the opportunity to pick their favorites and cast votes in our People Choice’s categories which include Best Soup, Best Vegetarian Soup, Best Dessert and Best Booth.

Tickets are $40 for adults and $10 for children 11 and under. Children 4 or younger are free. Purchase tickets online or call 505.349.8921 or buy them in person during business hours (M-F) from 8 am to 4 pm.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

A Couple of Useful Messages about Advocacy on Twitter

A message on Twitter is good when it is thoughtful, sometimes providing useful links, charts, photographs and illustrations...Here are a few good examples related to advocacy on hunger and poverty (and other issues). 

Susan Hennessey is Managing Editor of LawFare
Greg Kaufman is editor in chief of Talk Poverty

Friday, January 06, 2017

Activist Chef, First Lady Urge You to Participate in 'New' Campaign to End Hunger in America by 2030

Remember the documentary A Place at the Table, which was the centerpiece of Bread for the World's 2013 Offering of Letters?  The documentary was shown in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Silver City and many other places around the country to bring attention to the prevalence of hunger in America.

A Place At The Table  is more than a documentary.  It is a movement that has remained active since the documentary made its debut in 2013. The folks behind A Place at the Table have joined with anti-hunger activist Chef Tom Colicchio, First Lady Michelle Obama and others to promote a new effort to address an old problem.  Through the #FoodIsFuel campaign, organizers hope to rally all our country to become involved in the goal of ending hunger in our country by 2030. The campaign centers on ending child hunger, but we all know that to the goal is much broader. We have to end hunger among all families.

Here is a video from the campaign, followed by text borrowed from the original Food is Fuel website. 

Food fuels human potential. But 42 million Americans, many from working families, don’t get the food they need to thrive, here in the wealthiest nation on earth.

The problem: This costs our nation billions in preventable health care costs. It undermines our national security. It compromises our productivity and global competitiveness. It compromises our children’s ability to learn and thrive.

America can’t be great on an empty stomach.

Our leaders will only act if they hear from you. We have to put pressure on the political system to create change, and that’s where you come in. While charity and good deeds in your community do make a difference, national programs like SNAP (Food Stamps) reach far more people. In fact, charitable food programs provide only 10% of the meals that SNAP does. This problem is simply too big to fix without nationwide programs that are proven to lift people out of hunger.

By combining smart policy with collaboration with industry and communities, our leaders can end hunger once and for all and fuel the potential of every American. But they won’t act unless they know it’s a priority to us.

You can be Part of the Solution by Signing Up for the Campaign  (The spaces to sign up are right below the video on this site).

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-New Mexico Invites You to Annual Bishop's Legislative Luncheon on Jan. 31

Bishop Jim Gonia, Rocky Mountain Synod
Bishop's Legislative Luncheon
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
12:30 pm
La Fonda Hotel
Old Santa Fe Trail & San Francisco in Santa Fe (map)

$35 per person
($30 per person when 4 or more people
make reservations from a congregation or group)

Sen. Peter Wirth, new majority leader, addressed LAM-NM in 2015
Issues Briefing
Also plan to attend the Issues Briefing prior to the luncheon from 9:00 to 11:45 am at the United Church of Santa Fe, 1804 Arroyo Chamiso (map).  Cost to attend the Issues Briefing only is $10.

The LAM-NM Policy Committee has adopted its 2017 Advocacy Agenda. Amid the critical need to increase state revenue, the NM legislature will convene for a 60-day session on January 17. Click Here to see the LAM-NM Advocacy Agenda. 

Make reservations for the luncheon and/or the briefing  by January 27 
Call (505) 984-8005 or email:

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Several Events to Honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Earlier this week, we posted information about a Mass honoring Dr. Martin Luther King sponsored by the African-American Catholic Community and the Archdiocese of Santa Fe on Sunday, January 15.  Several other events are scheduled in Albuquerque that week.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. March
Saturday, January 14, 2017 10:00 AM
Location: Albuquerque Convention Center
For more information contact Leonard Waites, executive director of the New Mexico Office of African American Affairs, (505) 222-6466, or

Keeping the Dream Alive! A Day On, Not a Day Off!
On Monday, January 16, Grant Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church, will host the 21st annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Breakfast at the Marriott Pyramid Hotel, 5151 San Francisco Rd. NE (map), at 8:00 A.M.

The theme of the breakfast,  "Keeping the Dream Alive! A Day On, Not a Day Off!," is a reminder that this is not just a day off from our usual occupations, but a day on which we rededicate ourselves to the substantial work remaining to create a fair, equitable and inclusive society for everyone, regardless of race, color, creed or ethnicity.

Bishop Clement W. Fugh, Presiding Prelate of the 5th Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, is the featured speaker.

Reserved Table Seating for 10 is $350; Adult Tickets are $35 each. Make checks payable to Grant Chapel AME Lay Organization.  Mail to Grant Chapel AME Church, 7920 Claremont, Albuquerque, N.M.  87110  For more information, call Maureen Jones, 293-1300.

Dr. MLK Multicultural Council Celebration
Congregation Albert 3800 Louisiana Blvd NE Albuquerque (map)  1:30 PM - 3:00 P.M.
 Keynote Speaker: Rabbi Stephen Lewis Fuchs
Please join in honoring Ms. Michelle Gonzales, Wings for L.I.F.E. International, and former US Senator Jeff Bingaman.

Co-Sponsors:Albuquerque City Council, Albuquerque Public Schools, Bernalillo County, Central New Mexico Community College, Congregation Albert, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Center,J. Jeffrey and Karen Pasquier,Perfection Laserwerks, LLC, University of New Mexico Division for Equity and Inclusion

'Beloved Community' in Action
The next meeting of the New Mexico Interfaith Dialogue will take place on Thursday, January 19 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. In honor of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday that week, we will explore Dr. King's concept of the "Beloved Community" by visiting East Central Ministries (ECM) at 123 Vermont St. NE. (map)

Co-Directors John Bulten and Jesse Harden will provide a tour of ECM's facilities, including a health care center, food co-op, youth program, and other activities that make the neighborhood a better place.

East Central Ministries is a Christ-based, community development ministry located in the center of the La Mesa and Trumbull neighborhoods, now known as the International District. ECM was developed in the spring of 1999 by John Bulten as a mission organization of Fellowship Christian Reformed Church in Albuquerque.  

Monday, January 02, 2017

Rep. Lujan Grisham to Leave Congress to Run for Governor

On December 13, Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham officially announced that she is leaving her seat in Congress to run for governor of New Mexico in November 2018. Anti-hunger advocates in New Mexico hate to lose a strong ally in the House of Representatives  but Lujan Grisham still has at least a year to fight for initiatives in the House of Representatives that will help children and hungry people in our state and in our country.

Taking the SNAP Challente in 2013
Since 2012, Lujan Grisham has served on the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Nutrition, which provides significant input on important human-needs programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP and and domestic commodity distribution and consumer initiatives. She also was among the first to join the bipartisan House Hunger Caucus, created by Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts and Lynn Jenkins of Kansas.
During her tenure in Congress, Lujan Grisham has also taken other actions to address hunger, such as seeking emergency funding for food banks and supporting the Global Food Security Act. To show how important the SNAP program is to hungry people, Lujan Grisham took the SNAP challenge along with other members of Congress. She will also be missed on the Congressional Women's softball team, which plays a rival from the Washington press corps to raise money for breast cancer programs. (She likely has one more game on the team, though).

We are pleased that Rep. Lujan Grisham is pledging to continue her anti-hunger and anti-poverty efforts closer to home. In a video announcing her candidacy, Lujan Grisham said she wants to fix persistent New Mexico problems such as high unemployment, poverty, “struggling schools,” high rates of drug addiction and “too many seniors and families who are afraid for their safety and feel left behind by the failed policies of the last six years," in reference to Gov. Susana Martinez's record in office.  Read more in Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper. The race for governor is expected to be fairly competitive, however, especially if Attorney General Hector Balderas, Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales, Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry, Lieutenant Gov. John Sanchez, and U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce decide to seek the office, as rumored. 

Mary Quinalty, Rene Ronquillo with Lujan Grisham in 2011
Potential Candidates for Congress
When then County Commissioner Lujan Grisham threw her hat into the ring to represent the New Mexico First Congressional District in the House of Representatives in 2011, Bread for the World advocates were among the first to meet with the then candidate for Congress to discuss hunger issues.  We also met with four other individuals who declared for the seat, including former Mayor Marty Chavez, State Sen. Eric Griego, former State Rep. Janice Arnold Jones and City Councilor Dan Lewis.

We hope to do something similar when the field of candidates becomes more clear. The New Mexico Political Report has released a very early list of possible candidates, including State Sen. Jacob Candelaria, City Councilor Pat Davis, State Rep. Javier Martinez, outgoing State Democratic Chair Deb Haaland, Bernalillo County Commissioners Maggie Hart Stebbins and Wayne Johnson, among others. All but Johnson are Democrats, but other Republicans are likely to join the fold at a later date.