Sunday, October 14, 2018

Here's How You Can Follow Up on Your Offering of Letters

Bread for the World sent out this update for the 2018 Offering of Letters with instructions on how to follow up on those letters you wrote. Many of you probably received this note from Christine Melendez Ashley. 

Thanks to you, thousands of letters, emails, and calls have made their way to your members of Congress — urging them to invest in ending hunger. But our work isn’t finished yet.

President Trump recently signed a spending bill extending funding for programs like WIC, international food aid, and poverty-focused development assistance, but only through Dec. 7. Congress is taking a break from Washington, D.C., until after the November midterm elections. When they return next month, they will make final decisions on spending bills funding critical anti-hunger programs through 2019.

It’s not too late to join the 2018 Offering of Letters campaign. Here’s how:
  • Call (800-826-3688) or email today. Urge your members of Congress to pass spending bills that strongly invest in programs like WIC, summer meals, global nutrition, and poverty-focused development programs.

Email Congress

Schedule an Offering of Letters event with your church or group of friends. Every handwritten letter or personalized email counts.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Lutheran Advocacy Ministry Event to Feature ELCA Advocacy Director

Rev. Amy Reumann, Director of Advocacy for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, is the keynote speaker at the Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-New Mexico's Annual Advocacy Conference. In this video, posted in January of this year, she gives insights and advice on leadership

Rev. Raumann leads domestic, international, environmental, and corporate social responsibility portfolios in Washington D.C, and 14 state capitols. She formerly served as director of the Lutheran Advocacy Ministry in Pennsylvania.

Register Now

Saturday, November 17 
8:30 am to 1 pm
St. Paul Lutheran Church 
1100 Indian School Rd NE Albuquerque, 87102  (map)
$15 per person (materials & lunch included) 

Breakout session topics will include issues related to our Advocacy Agenda which are expected to come up during the 2019 state legislative session. 

The conference is open to everyone interested in learning more about advocating on public policies impacting our many neighbors living in poverty and with hunger. 

To register send your name, address, email address, and congregation/organization to or click here 

Registration Deadline: November 9

Sunday, October 07, 2018

The Coffee Prayer (from Catholic Relief Services)

A prayer for all those people who work to make the coffee we drink, at any stage of production

La oración del café

Amado Señor

Bebo esto en solidaridad con quienes plantaron las semillas,
en solidaridad con quienes cultivaron la tierra,
en solidaridad con quienes regaron los árboles,
en solidaridad con quienes cosecharon los granos,
en solidaridad con quienes trajeron la cosecha al mercado

¡Ha habido un largo proceso detrás de la preparación de esta bebida!
Con cada sorbo, rezo por justicia para todos los que participaron en el proceso.
Rezo especialmente por aquellos cuya pobreza
les impide disfrutarde la abundancia que tú nos concedes.
Solidaridad y justicia: ¡esos son nuestros desafíos!
Pero una cosa he aprendido de ti Señor,
y es que con nuestros pequeños gestos haces grandes milagros,
y que todos podemos ser uno y vivir unidos en ti.


Friday, October 05, 2018

A Campaign to Bring Health Care to All New Mexicans

The local organizers of  the Health Security for New Mexicans Campaign are recruiting congregations and people of faith to join the effort to bring health care to all New Mexicans. The campaign is promoting the The Health Security Act, which would enable New Mexico to set up its own health care plan.

 Established in 1992, the Health Security for New Mexicans Campaign is a broad and growing coalition of over 145 statewide and local organizations representing diverse interests. Its members and supporters include consumer, labor, community, health professionals, human rights, faith-based, and environmental organizations; business owners; farmers and ranchers; and groups advocating for low-income New Mexicans and the homeless. The Campaign’s mission is to establish a system of guaranteed, comprehensive, and affordable health care coverage for all New Mexicans.

Become Involved
There are several ways to become involved in the campaign.
A Presentation: If your congregation is not already engaged in the effort, campaign volunteers can make a presentation to members of your faith community  In Albuquerque, contact Ester Griego ( 505 463-5343  to arrange for a volunteer to speak to your congregation. Outside of Albuquerque, contact Dana Millen 505 856-8359 or Mary Feldblum 505.897.1803.

Advocate in the State Legislature: As an individual, you are asked to contact your state representatives and senators during the 2019 Legislative Session urging him/her to support the Health Security Act.  (You can also contact them before the session to put the issue on their radar). Find My Legislator

Stay informed about the latest developments in the campaign by signing up for e-mail alerts.

Find out about the Campaign and the Health Security Plan.

Details of the Campaign
The Health Security Plan will:
  • automatically cover most New Mexicans
  • offer a comprehensive set of health care services no less than what is currently offered to state employees
  • provide freedom of choice of health care provider and facility (no networks), even across state lines
  • -simplify administration, since providers will be dealing mostly with just one plan
How will it work?
  • The Plan will be administered by a geographically representative citizens’ commission of consumers, business owners, and health care providers. The commission’s meetings will be open to the public, and its finances will be subject to public scrutiny.
  • The Plan will be paid for by using existing public dollars, along with employer contributions and premiums based on income (both with caps).
  • The Plan will provide comprehensive primary coverage, but individuals and employers may purchase supplemental private insurance policies if they wish to.

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Use Your Feet to Help Rio Grande Food Project Ease Hunger in #ABQ

It's almost time for the  Third Annual Hike to End Hunger and the folks at the Rio Grande Food Project  would love for you to join them!

Participants will be  hiking to increase awareness about hunger in our community and to raise funds to continue to feed hungry Albuquerque families while providing access to community resources that address the causes and effects of food insecurity.

How far should I go?
You have a  choice of how far you want to go.  Hike  or walk a 2, 4 or 6-mile loop (or shorter - you decide!)starting at Boxing Bear Brewing Company map  and heading north along the beautiful Bosque Trail.

Register for Free 
Check in: 9:00am - 9:45am
Hike Starts: 10:00am

Food & drink available for purchase from Boxing Bear and two food trucks following the hike, so feel welcome to stay and hang out with us to celebrate our vision of a community where everyone has access to enough quality food to live healthy lives.

Dogs are welcome on the hiking trail and Boxing Bear patio!

Raising Funds
 Even though there is no fee to walk, this is a fundraising event. So how does it work?

Sponsorships also available starting at only $250!

Additionally, Here is a handy fundraising page.

You can send out just a few quick emails about RGFB's fundraising event! That way we can DOUBLE or even TRIPLE our funds raised. It is easy, fun and since many people wonder how they could help, sending them an email telling them HOW benefits everyone! Follow this link to get started...

P.S. Did you know it only costs us $10 to feed a family of four for an entire WEEK?

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Celebrating World Food Day in #ABQ with Stories of Hope

Interfaith World Food Day Event 

Food Sustains Us All

Join us for festivities and celebration as stories from the local and global perspectives and experiences of diverse communities and individuals are shared regarding food concerns, systems and sustainability.
Hear stories from East Central Ministries (John Bulten or Morgan Attema), the Lighthouse of New Mexico (Abdur Rauf), La Placita Institute (Albino Garcia), La Cosecha (Caroline Hess), Catholic Relief Services (Katie Morris), MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger (Rachel Sternheim).

The Matunda Ya Yesu refugee choir (Lingile Sinandile) and David Poole will provide music. Surgite:A Sacred Dance Company will lead us in liturgical dance.

Sunday, October 14, 3:00-5:00 pm
La Mesa Presbyterian Church
7401 Copper Avenue, SE Albuquerque

Join us for snacks and fellowship after the service

Co-sponsored by: Interfaith Hunger Coalition; NM Interfaith Power and Light; La Mesa Presbyterian Church and East Central Ministries

Matunda Ya Yesu Choir

Surgite Leads Procession at World Food Day 2016
(First Unitarian Church)

David Poole composed our local World Food Day theme.
In this video, he teaches the participatory song at our 2017 World Food Day event at Congregation B'nai Israel. Surgite joins in with sacred dance movements..

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

An Ocean of Peace-Making Waves

Every wave on the ocean is the whole ocean waving... So, the ocean of being waves every one of us, and we are its wavesAlan Watts

Photo: Albuquerque Peace and Justice Center
Dozens of ;people, young and old, came together at Johnson Field (University of New Mexico) on the afternoon of September 21, 2018, to create a giant peace sign to celebrate the UN International Day of Peace..

Monday, October 01, 2018

End Hunger Summit 2018: A Chance to Offer Our Vision to End Hunger

The Interfaith Hunger Coalition was pleased to take a significant role in the End Hunger in New Mexico Summit for the second consecutive year. We presented at the fourth annual End Hunger Summit in 2017 and again this year at the fifth annual End Hunger Summit,, which was held on September 25.

We were offered the opportunity this year to make a presentation about House Memorial 90, which was brought before the Health and Human Services Committee in the New Mexico State Legislature in February 2018.  Rep. Sarah Maestas Barnes, a lead sponsor of the initiative, spoke about the memorial (see video below).

Roadrunner Food Bank, Jason Riggs, Kate Page
Interfaith Voices
Before  Rep. Maestas Barnes' presentation, I (Carlos Navarro) offered a reflection on the common values of the faith traditions that participate in the Interfaith Hunger Coalition. This presentation, which I adapted from a piece I wrote for the Center for Action and Contemplations biannual journal Oneing, borrowed heavily on the comments that members of the Jewish, Baha'i, Muslim and Catholic traditions presented at the Fourth Annual End Hunger Summit in 2017.

There were many display tables in the lobby of the Embassy Suites in Albuquerque, which hosted the event.

In addition to our own table, two of our endorsing partner organizations, Roadrunner Food Bank and Rio Grande Food Project, also set up informational tables.

Rep. Jim Trujillo, Mayor Keller, Tim Armer
A Distinguished Lineup of Speakers
The event also featured presentations by Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller (see video below); Rep. Jim Trujillo; Tim Armer of the North-Central New Mexico Economic Development District; Dr. Sally Fisher, Assistant Clinical Professor UNM School of Medicine; Carol Pierce, Director of Family and Community Services for the City of Albuquerque; Anne Ryan, director of Community Services for Sandoval County; and  Lura Barber and Vivian Nava-Schellinger of the National Council on Aging..See full program.

Below are videos of the presentations (including partial transcripts) by Rep. Sarah Maestas Barnes and Mayor Keller, followed by some photographs of the event.

Rep. Sarah Maestas Barnes talks about House Memorial 90

"[The goal of House Memorial 90] is to come  up with a statewide plan to address hunger and poverty in New Mexico.  It's something that is important to everyone in this room but also some of the people that aren't here today.   I want to give you a bit a background on how this piece of legislation came to be...You might remember a bill that was introduced and passed by Sen. Michael Padilla.  That bill created the Hunger Bill of Rights.  It addressed a lot the lunch shaming issues that children in New Mexico specifically deal with

One of the  things that has been most   surprising to me since I've been in the legislature  is how little this issue of hunger is addressed or even talked about  It wasn't until [the Hunger Bill of Rights] was brought forth that we had an in-depth this discussion. And it was something that really struck home for me. As a child I grew up in poverty  I never had to fortunately deal with hunger issues, but I had free and reduced lunch at different times times in my life, and that allowed me to have a warm meal every day when I went to school for breakfast and lunch.  I was one of those kids that was shamed a couple of different occasions.  It was so phenomenal for the senator to introduce this legislation. ..."

Mayor Tim Keller discusses the City of Albuquerque's Feeding Efforts

"I had no idea we served so much food..It's a good thing when it comes to the city's perspective. Obviously, it reflects a lot of challenges. We are heavy in the end hunger business. For breakfast we provide 380,000 meals. We do this through a lot of different ways,  whether it's through our senior centers, our community centers or in cooperation with a lot of partners, including the school system...We are one of the few cities that has a very vibrant and active senior-center life, and part of thst is meals...The senior center meals are very good...I've had them several times.  They taste like grandma's. You show up at an Albuquerque Senior Center and you'll get some good green chile stew."

Interfaith Hunger Coalition, Brenda Sinfield

Rio Grande Food Project, Ari Herring (left)
Carol Pierce
Joy Dinaro, Ellen Buelow, Kathryn Arndt, Kathy Freeze, Carlos Navarro, Brenda Sinfield

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Hope and Justice

So the poor have hope, and injustice shuts its mouth. - Job 5:16

Voice of the Day
To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. - Howard Zinn

Prayer of the Day
Lord, in times of disappointment and distress, we remember that you are a good God. When we feel overwhelmed by the darkness, help us to hold fast to the powerful light of hope.

(From Sojourners Verse and Voice, August 21)

Friday, September 07, 2018

An Invitation to Two Great Fall Events

The public is invited to two great community events, held during the last two weekend of September

Trinity House Catholic Worker 
Harvest Bowl Fundraiser

OffCenter Community Arts Project  
Annual Folk Festival 

  • Over 100 Artist Vendors Selling Hand-Made Arts & Crafts
  • Giant Puppet Parade – Theme "Bosque Life"
  • Live Music, Dance, Magic and Puppet Play Performances
  • FREE Art-Making Activities for the whole family in our Giant Art Making Tent
  • Food and snacks from some of Albuquerque's favorite food trucks
  • Be a part of community art — Carry a puppet, create in the Art tent, buy art from local artists!

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Learn How Silver Horizons Serves Seniors in the Albuquerque Area

Most of the seniors we assist live on less than $900 per month. Our mission is to see low income seniors living safe and secure, in their own homes, with enough food to eat.  -Silver Horizons
The flyer advertising free groceries for seniors is displayed on the bulletin board at the Palo Duro and Highland Senior Centers, the Manzano Mesa Multigenerational Center and other similar facilities throughout the Albuquerque metro area. These are ideal sites for the organization Silver Horizons to distribute food boxes to low-income seniors who need food.

"Silver Horizons takes food to where seniors live, or at least to areas where the seniors are able to access services," the organization says on its website. "Our community is stronger and healthier when seniors and their grandchildren have enough food to eat."

 As Silver Horizons points out, "It is difficult to succeed in school, or life in general, when people are hungry, or having to make choices between basic life expenses, school supplies, medications, and food. Typically, other expenses win when competing with food."

The organization has developed a strong track record of providing food, particularly in recent years. "Three years ago, we had one food pantry serving about 70 people. Today, we have over 20 monthly Senior Food Markets serving almost 3,500 seniors and nearly 1,200 grandchildren," said the organization.

In addition to direct distribution of food, Silver Horizons,  offers help with utilities, home repairs and other services. To learn more about the work of this valuable community organization, please join us at the bimonthly meeting of the Interfaith Hunger Coalition.

Bimonthy Meeting 

Tuesday, September 18
12:00 Noon
First Presbyterian Church  
-Education Building 
(I-25 and Martin Luther King Blvd)

 Ron Hidalgo, executive director of Silver Horizons, is the featured speaker. 

We will also hear a brief presentation from Rev. Janet Norden about Community of Hope, a United Methodist congregation, which offers a meal to a broad community, including many homeless individuals, on Sunday afternoons. Community of Hope is in the process of becoming an endorsing congregation of the IHC.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Register Now for the End Hunger Summit

The End Hunger Summit is just a few weeks away. If you are planning to attend and have not yet registered, follow this link.  Register online ($35 Regular, $25 Seniors)  Early Registration Extended to September 24 (from original date of September 9).  The fee after the deadline is $45

7:30—8:30 Registration-Continental Breakfast
8:30—8:50 Welcome —Manuel Casias, Master of Ceremonies
Rep. Jim Trujillo
Sen. Michael Padilla, 2017 Presenter
Opening Remarks
Tim Keller, Mayor, City of Albuquerque
Tim Armer (NCNMEDD)
8:50—9:00   Posting of Colors/National
9:00—10:30 Plenary Session—Sandia Ballroom
  • Carol Pierce, City of Albuquerque Community Services
  • Vivian Nava-Schellinger and Lura Barber—NCOA
  • Randella Bluehouse– Executive Director of NICOA
10:30—10:45 Break
Plenary Session—Sandia Ballroom
  • Interfaith Hunger Coalition –Rep. Sara Maestas Barnes, Carlos Navarro - HM90
  • Sandoval County –Anne Ryan -Director of Community Services
12:00—1:30  Lunch
Keynote Dr. Sally Fisher Assistant Clinical Professor UNM School of Medicine
1:30—3:30    Breakout Workshop Sessions
3:45-4:30  Results of Roundtable Discussions 

Themes for breakout sessions
Pair Data & Resources
Tom Scharmen of the NM Community Data Collaborative will show participants how to use the Food Environment Map Gallery, a collection of 25+ interactive maps documenting key issues of food security and access for all NM neighborhoods. See how you can find information on grocery stores, pantries, farmer markets, SNAP, WIC, farm crops and water resources as well as chronic disease statistics, and health and recreation resources. Join a group discussion will explore how data can be used to assess community needs and to plan for programs or policy. Participants are welcome to bring their laptops to follow along. See the Food Environment Map Gallery 

Intergenerational Feeding Programs
Multigenerational Meals, Memories, and other Meaningful Ways to Message the Medicine of Food: A panel presentation among Sandoval County Community Services, KidsCook!, Jemez Valley Youth, Sandoval County Master Gardeners, Sound Seed Productions, and CYFD in discovering creative ways to cultivate community empowerment by leveraging resources at the local level. Using Digital Services to Connect Seniors with Benefits Through a creative, productive, and interactive session, attendees will use elements of design thinking, partner evaluation, and outreach experience and expertise to learn more about the value of digital services, the challenges and successes in connecting with the 65 + population, and form best practices around partnering in a variety of ways to end hunger and food insecurity in New Mexico and across the country.

Collaboration with Schools
New Mexico State University’s ICAN program’s mission is to inspire New Mexico's limited resource youth and adults to make healthy food and lifestyle choices. Come learn about how ICAN is creating a healthier New Mexico through nutrition education, gardens, and collaborations statewide. Attendees will receive information on various free resources available in their community. It is critical that New Mexico children have enough access to food for overall success and wellbeing. Programs and communities across the state are working together to ensure all needs of children are met persistently. NM Public Education Department will highlight existing food programs that are making impact in the classroom and beyond, as well as encourage new partnerships, promote creative projects, and organize collaborative efforts to combat hunger. Come prepared to share your ideas and successes that can be replicated statewide!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Creating Albuquerque's First-Ever Human Peace Sign

The Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice and four other partner organizations invite the public to help create our city's first-ever Human Peace Sign. The United Nations Association, the UNM Peace Studies Program, the GenUN at UNM, and Nonviolence Training are cosponsors.

The building of the peace sign will take place at Johnson Field at the University of New Mexico Campus on Friday, September 21, at 4:00 p.m., culminating a week of events to commemorate ABQ Peace Week. A peace party will follow across the street at the the Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice, 202 Harvard Dr. SE, at 5:00 p.m. For more info, call (505) 268-9557 or email

The ABQ Peace Week events are very much in keeping with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, a global plan of action for people, planet and prosperity Goal 16 seeks to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Three Sisters Kitchen Now Open for Business

 Three Sisters Kitchen is an ambitious project to create a space for people to come together to cook, eat, test new recipes, develop new food businesses, teach and learn from each other. It is one part café, one part test kitchen, one part dining room and one part classroom. And, though many have come through with support, input and funding for Three Sisters, Anzia Bennett is now largely running the whole operation herself...Just about everyone who hears about the kitchen wants to get involved somehow. from Article in Weekly Alibi
The day finally arrived. After months of preparation, Three Sisters Kitchen is finally opened its doors wide open. There was poetry, music, demonstrations, tours, speeches and general celebration. "Join us for delicious food from the Street Food Institute, music from Sin Limite, kids activities led by Kids Cook!, and tours of our  [facilities]," said an invitation by the board, staff and volunteers of Three Sisters.

This unique project (at least in Albuquerque) features
  • a test/incubator kitchen for food entrepreneurs and young food businesses to experiment, make mistakes, learn, and adjust to create viable products.
  • a community classroom offering multi-generational, multi-lingual, community-based culinary, business, nutrition, and health education
  • a local foods shop and cafe, providing a year-round market for local food makers to sell their products
  • a community cookbook for people to  share recipes that "remind us of home,"
Anzia Bennett,director of the project, spoke about Three Sisters at the bimonthly meeting of the Interfaith Hunger Coalition in January of this year.  At that time, the project was months away from becoming a reality. The day finally  arrived on August 24!

In the photo on the left, Anzia addresses the huge crowd that attended the grand opening, which included Mayor Tim Keller, First Lady Elizabeth Kistin Keller, poet Hakim Bellamy and the musical group Sin Limite. 

Below are photographs taken at the grand opening celebration.
Elizabeth Kistin Keller and Tim Keller

Hakim Bellamy

Sin Límite
Three Sisters board members

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Making Hunger a Priority at the Ballot Box

What do Islamic Relief USA, MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, and the Jesuit Social Research Institute have in common? They are among the dozens of organizations that endorsed the Vote to End Hunger campaign. This is an effort led by the Alliance to End Hunger, Feeding America, FRAC, No Kid Hungry, Meals on Wheels,

 "Working together, we aim to elevate the issues of hunger, poverty, and opportunity with candidates during this election cycle through a nonpartisan voter education campaign. This campaign compliments efforts Bread for the World members are already doing to ensure hunger is a key issue in the 2018 midterm elections."

Individuals can also participate in the campaign.  

Here is how.
  1. Sign up for email communications from the campaign.
  2. Register for a special Vote to End Hunger webinar, scheduled for Wednesday, September 5 at 2:00 p.m. EDT.