Monday, September 26, 2016

Bread for the World Invites You to Play Bingo During the Debates

Play bingo while you watch the presidential and vice presidential debates!

We want to elect leaders who make ending hunger and poverty a priority, so we are encouraging candidates to talk about these issues.

We invite you to watch the debates and listen if candidates address poverty and hunger.
Download and print Bread’s bingo cards with terms relating to hunger, poverty, and the work needed to end both.

Use a marker and put an X through each word or phrase you hear the candidates say. Five consecutive crosses means that you got bingo!

Play with friends or with others on Twitter by using the hashtag #IVote2EndHunger. Tag @bread4theworld if you get bingo.

A BINGO win for you is also a win for our advocacy, as hearing these words spoken means the candidates are talking about hunger and poverty – something that must be done if we’re to effectively end hunger by 2030.

Presidential and vice presidential debates will air on:
  • September 26
  • October 4 (VP debate)
  • October 9
  • October 19
All debates begin at 9 p.m. EDT and will be televised on all major networks. Join us as we play BINGO and hold the candidates accountable on addressing hunger and poverty.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Archdiocese of Santa Fe to Host Symposium on Child Well-Being

"...The statistics are very grim regarding the condition of our children. New Mexico holds the United States’ highest rate of children living in poverty and the second highest percentage of children going to bed hungry every night . Our children need intervention and support now...Please, in this year of mercy, join me in praying for our little ones and together with our community answering this call before us."  Most Rev. John C. Wester, Archbishop of Santa Fe
Photo: Chi St. Joseph's Children
The Archdiocese of Santa Fe and CHI St. Joseph’s Children invite the public to a symposium on child well-being in New Mexico on Saturday, October 1, 10:00am – 2:00 pm, St. Pius X High School Gym, 5501 St. Joseph’s Drive (map). The symposium will examine how we can improve the well-being of children in our state by investing in efforts to address poverty, joblessness, hunger and the achievement gap.

The event will feature a presentation from M. Rebecca Kilburne, senior economist at the non-profit research organization RAND Corporation and professor and at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Much of Dr. Kilburn’s research has involved evaluation of public and private investments in childhood.  

The event is free and open to the public, with lunch provided. Registration is required. Register here

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Advocating for Refugees (including Education for Children)

Photo: Embrace Refugees
There are an estimated 21.3 million refugees around the world, and many find themselves in limbo for years, denied the rights they need to become self-sufficient and restart their lives. More than 50% of all refugees are children.

One effort to help refugees is designed primarily to support refugees who come to the United States. The Embrace Refugees Campaign encourages Americans to welcome and connect with refugees who have been recently relocated to the US by learning more about the resettlement process and the people it serves, as well as by finding out more about volunteer support networks in their area

"The US has long been a leader in helping people who are fleeing violence and persecution find a safe place for their families to live,," said the campaign. "For decades, citizens and policy makers have come together to make this happen. In fact, five of the nine agencies that help refugees find homes in the US are from a variety of faiths. Americans from all religions and political leanings believe that helping refugees is the right thing to do."

Last year, over 34,000 people were forced to leave their homes every day due to violence, persecution, and conflict.

Mercy in Motion: A Jesuit Campaign
Refugees need practical and fast paths to integrate into new societies. This begins with quality education. Jesuit Refugee Services (JRS) launched its Mercy in Motion program in December 2015 in conjunction with Pope Francis' declaration of a Year of Mercy. The goal of the campaign is to provide 100,000 refugee and displaced people with access to education by the year 2020.

As part of the campaign JRS is raising $35 million to provide refugees with the tools to contribute to their new communities, and to rebuild their own ones. Mercy in Motion will expand the educational projects of  JR , spanning from primary school to university, and including vocational and teacher training.

"Schools provide the stability that children need to cope with the loss, fear, stress and violence experienced during times of crisis," said JRS. "Being in school can keep children safe and protected from risks, including gender-based violence, recruitment into armed groups, child labor and early marriage."

 When speaking out on the current refugee crisis, Pope Francis has said the world is suffering from a “globalization of indifference,” ignoring those who cry out for mercy.  It is time to change that. “We can no longer take the suffering of others for granted,” he said. We must come together and mobilise our compassion to make a globalized difference. It is the role of each one of us to ensure those who have lost their homes do not lose their hope.

Photo: Jesuit Refugee Services
Eleven Concerts
Performing artists are also involved in the JRS effort to raise awareness and funds for programs to help refugees. Five of America's most popular musical acts are coming together for an 11-stop concert tour this fall to raise awareness of the unprecedented worldwide refugee crisis.

"Lampedusa: Concerts for Refugees" will be headlined in North America by Grammy Award-winning artists Emmylou HarrisSteve EarlePatty Griffin, Buddy Miller, and The Milk Carton Kids. The concerts will take place in Boulder, Kansas City, Lincoln, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Chicago, Toronto, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. Read accounts from Emmy Lou Harris and Patty Griffin about their work with refugees.

Calls and Petitions
The ONE Campaign has also mobilized its supporters to act on behalf of refugee children  On Sept. 6 to 16, members of ONE were asked to call The White House to advocate for school-aged refugees to have the opportunity to attend school. ONE also made  a petition available online.

The calls and the petition advocated for the US government to promote education of refugees at two summits sponsored by the United Nations in New York. On Sept. 19, the UN General Assembly called for a summit at the Heads of State and Government level on large movements of refugees and migrants. The summit was dubbed as  a historic opportunity  for the UN to come up with a blueprint for a better international response.

A day later, on Sept. 20, US President Barack Obama hosted the Leaders' Summit on the Global Refugee Crisis. The purpose of the summit was to to galvanize significant new global commitments to: 1) increase funding to humanitarian appeals and international organizations, 2) admit more refugees through resettlement or other legal pathways, and 3) increase refugees’ self-reliance and inclusion through opportunities for education and legal work.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Help the Rio Grande Food Project (by Taking a Hike in the Woods!)

Saturday, October 22, 2016 
Rio Grande Bosque, Albuquerque

What could be more pleasant than a hike in the bosque during the fall season?  The trees are covered with a canopy of yellow and gold, the air is crisp as freshly picked apple, and the views of the Rio Grande are magnificent.

As long as you are taking a fall hike along the river (and you know you want to do it), you might as well make each of your steps count by participating the the Hike for Hunger to help the Rio Grande Food Project.

The hike follows a four-mile loop on the west bank of the river in northwest Albuquerque. The starting and ending point is  the Boxing Bear Brewing Co., 10200 Corrales Rd. NW (map). Registration is open at  9:30 A.M., and the hike begins at 10:00 A.M.  Registration costs are $20 for adult hikers (18 or older), $15 for adults who register in a group of 10 and $10 for youth hikers under 18. Register Online  by Wednesday, October 5, and receive a Hike for Hunger T-shirt!

Raise additional funds while you hike. Get creative and have fun raising funds during your hike! People want to support good causes like ending hunger. Ask family, friends and colleagues to support you by the number of steps or miles you complete or giving a one-time donation. Reach out via Social Media, Email, Phone, or In Person. All proceeds will help Rio Grande Food Project fill empty bellies!

The Rio Grande Food Project helps supplement the food needs of low-income families and individuals in the Albuquerque area  New Mexico is one of the hungriest states in the country. Thousands of our neighbors struggle to fill their empty bellies every month. The reasons for their lack of food vary: low wages, rising cost of living, expensive health issues, job loss, and other life struggles. Fatigued parents go without to make sure their children eat. Too many kids start the day hungry, unable to focus in school. After a lifetime of working, New Mexico seniors face the hard choice: “Do I buy my medication or food?”

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

International Day of Peace Events in Albuquerque

Peace is both God’s gift and a human achievement. As a gift of God, it is entrusted to all men and women, who are called to attain it. -Pope Francis

Happiness depends on inner peace, which depends on warm-heartedness. There's no room for anger, jealousy or insecurity. A calm mind and self-confidence are the basis for peaceful relations with others. Scientists have observed that constant anger and fear eat away at our immune system, whereas a calm mind strengthens it. Changing the world for the better begins with individuals creating inner peace within themselves. -The Dalai Lama
Happy International Day of Peace! The UN General Assembly declared this day and every September 21 as one devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.There are several opportunities in Albuquerque for you to celebrate International Day of Peace.  Here is a list.  

Chalk4Peace & Peace Fair
On the eve of International Peace Day, students at Luther House (Lutheran Campus Ministry at UNM) wrote messages of peace on campus in the area between Luther House and Mesa Vista Hall. The Chalk4Peace activity was a prelude to the Peace Fair to be held at the Southwest Courtyard of Mesa Vista Hall, 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Participants are encouraged to take the Campaign Nonviolence Pledge, Chalk4Peace, and fold Peace Cranes. The event is sponsored by Luther House, Campaign Nonviolence, and the UNM-Student Christian Movement  

3rd Annual International Day of Peace Celebration
The Peace and Justice Center of Albuquerque and the local chapter of the United Nations Association invite you to a program entitled, What Can Gandhi Teach Albuquerque in 2016? The event will be held at the Peace & Justice Center, 202 Harvard Dr SE (at Silver), 4:00-8:00 p.m. Greg Polk, international development advisor, peace advocate, and former Peace Corps volunteer will share his experience of retracing Mahatma Gandhi’s historic Salt March. Greg, who lived and worked in India for 5 years, will explore Gandhi’s legacy and its relevance to the challenges of our times.
World Peace Day: "Storytelling for Peace" with Susi Wolf   
This event will be held at the Lomas-Tramway Public Library,908 Eastridge NE, 10:30-11:30 a.m. and at Taylor Ranch Public Library, 5700 Bogart NW, 3:30-4:30 Susi Wolf is a locally and nationally known storyteller who has been performing for over 25 years. In this all-ages program, Susi will include worldwide folktales, animal tales and stories from her own Cherokee tradition that focus on validating the importance of peace on earth and among all living things in honor of World Peace Day

Monday, September 19, 2016

Images from Hunger 101 Workshop at Jewish Community Center

Here are some photographs and videos from the Hunger 101 Workshop on Sunday, Sept. 18, at the Jewish Community Center. About 50 people attended the workshop to hear Bill Jordan, Senior Policy Advisor and Government Relations Officer at New Mexico Voices for Children. Mr Jordan spoke about hunger, poverty, tax policy and the budget. 

Workshop participants were also given the opportunity to write letters to state legislators and the U.S. Congress and also to learn how to set up a Hunger 101 workshop in their own congregation. 

Ruth Hoffman, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-New Mexico, spoke about state legislation
Ari Herring, Rio Grande food Project, consults with Kathy Freeze on Hunger 101 Kit for Youth
Rachel Brookins, Rachel Sternheim, Congregation Albert
Alicia Eiler brought students from Kids Against Hunger project at St. Pius X High School

Kathryn Arndt explains Hunger 101 Kit for Adults
Ellen Buelow staffs letter-writing table

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Take the Empty Plate Challenge on #HungerActionMonth

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September is #HungerActionMonth!
  • Take the Empty Plate Challenge – grab a plate, write what you can’t do on an empty stomach.
  • Then post/share to your social network with #HungerActionMonth @Roadrunner Food Bank of New Mexico
  • Be sure to to ask 5 people to do the same!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Urge Congress to Fund Critical Anti-Hunger Programs in 2017

For the first time since the start of the Great Recession, the total number of people living at risk of hunger and in poverty in the U.S. has gone down. In fact, the number of Americans living at risk of hunger and in poverty has decreased by 12 percent and 8 percent, to 42 million and 43 million respectively.

While these numbers are still too high, this is a positive step and proof that the right policies can help lead us to zero hunger and poverty by 2030. But we won't get there if Congress doesn't do its job and make ending hunger both here in the U.S. and abroad a priority.

Call (800-826-3688) or email Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (or your own representative) and Sen. Martin Heinrich and Sen. Tom Udall (or your own senators) today!

Tell Congress that 42 million Americans, including 13 million children, are at risk of hunger. Urge them to pass a fiscal year 2017 budget that adequately funds critical anti-hunger and anti-poverty programs like WIC, Summer EBT, and international development assistance focused on poverty.

Time is running out. If Congress doesn’t pass spending bills by September 30, the end of its fiscal year, they risk a government shutdown. Families counting on nutrition assistance here in the U.S. and around the world could be impacted. Call (800-826-3688) or email today.

Eric Mitchell
Director of Government Relations, Bread for the World

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

A Hunger Op-Ed Written Fifteen Years Ago in The Albuquerque Tribune

Even though we live in a country with an incredibly high standard of living, there are many in our communities, locally and globally, who do not share in this prosperity. They are nonetheless our neighbors and part of the fabric of our life together, and justice demands that we work both collectively and as individuals to ensure that all people can sufficiently meet the basic needs of life.
Who remembers Albuquerque's now-defunct afternoon newspaper The Albuquerque Tribune? This great newspaper, like many newspapers around the country, was a victim of the changing times: a decline in readership, rising costs and other factors. All of a sudden, there was no room for two newspapers in Albuquerque.

We remember some of the great attributes of "The Trib," including its Insight & Opinion section. For Jack Ehn, editor of this section, the voice of the community was very important. He would often ask representatives of various community organizations to put together Op-Ed pieces on a variety of issues to publish every week.

Here is a piece that Ruth Hoffman of the Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-New Mexico (then called the Lutheran Office of Governmental Ministry, LOGM) wrote exactly 15 years ago, on Sept. 14, 2001. We put together the piece, partly to promote a join conference on hunger sponsored by LOGM and Bread for the World on Sept. 29. The keynote speaker was Rev. Arthur Simon, founder of Bread for the World. Here are scanned images of the piece.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Santa Fe Among State Capitals to Hold Rally on National Moral Day of Action

Rev. William Lyons (photo Kay Huggins)
On Monday, September 12, more than 70 people gathered at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe to urge the New Mexico State Legislature, Gov. Susana Martinez and candidates for office to emphasize that our budget is a moral document and should give a priority to the needs of the disenfranchised in communities around the state.

The group in Santa Fe joined coalitions in Boston; Washington, D.C.; Raleigh, N.C.; Springfield, Ill.;Madison, Wis.; Carson City, Nev., and dozens of other state capitals for the National Moral Day of Action to advance a moral public policy agenda that responds to the urgent needs of the poor, people who are ill, children, immigrants, communities of color, and religious minorities.

The groups that gathered on that Monday were all part of  fusion coalitions created with the help of  Rev. William Barber, founder of the Forward Together Moral Movement and president of the NAACP chapter in North Carolina. Rev. Barber came to Albuquerque in June to help facilitate conversations around the creation of a fusion coalition in New Mexico.

(Photo: Kay Huggins)
Diverse Group of Clergy in Santa Fe
The rally in Santa Fe was sponsored by Interfaith Worker Justice-New Mexico, the New Mexico Conference of Churches (NMCC), New Mexico Interfaith Power & Light and the Lutheran Advocacy Ministry-New Mexico. More than two dozen other organizations, including Bread New Mexico, endorsed the event.

The rally included a diverse group of clergy from around the state, touching on many of the issues that affect New Mexico. According to Rev. Kay Huggins, interim executive director of the NMCC, the more than 70 people who gathered at the Roundhouse included 40 ordained members of the faith community, representing the United Methodist Church, Disciples of Christ, Episcopal Church, Presbyterian Church USA, Metropolitan Community Church, and Mennonite Church.

Rev. William Lyons, Southwest Conference Minister for the United Church of Christ, was the opening speaker. Others who joined in were Rev. Dr. Keith Wilkes of Portales (Democracy and Voting Rights), Rev. Steve Wiard of Taos & Rev. David Rogers of Carlsbad (Poverty and Economic Justice), Rev. Dr. Holly Beaumont of Santa Fe (Workers Rights), Father Richard Murphy of Santa Fe (Education), Rev. Lorelei Kay of Gallup (Healthcare), Rev. Chan Osborn de Anaya of Navajoland & Farmington (Environmental Justice), Rev. Antonio Aja of Santa Fe (Immigrants' Rights and Xenofobia), Rev. Steve Voris of Carlsbad (Criminal Justice), Rev. Judith Maynard of Albuquerque ( LGBTQ Rights) and Rev. Todd Wynward of Taos (War Mongering and the Military).  KRWG TV/FM had a nice write-up ahead of the rally.

Here are some tweets/pictures from Health Action New Mexico 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Urge Moderator to Ask Hunger Question in First Presidential Debate

Too many Americans struggle with hunger – 42 million, to be exact. If you, like me, are voting to end hunger, we need to hear how Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are planning to end it. -Robin Stephenson, National Lead for Social Media, Bread for the World
On  Monday, September 26, NBC News anchor Lester Holt will moderate the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Since Holt gets to pick the topics of the debate, we have a unique opportunity to make hunger and poverty part of the conversation!

The most effective way to communicate with Holt is via Twitter. Send this message from Bread for the World and the Vote to End Hunger campaign.  Here is the tweet I sent this morning.

In fact, if you're already logged into Twitter, just use this handy link.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

David Jeffrey: Practice 'Social Holiness' to Address Hunger and Poverty

Today in America, we'll feed 161,000 meals. Tonight, we'll sleep 29,000 people in our shelters. And with basic social services, we'll serve about 18 million people this year. That is about one person every two seconds. But we want to do more than just meet people one time and meet their need on that one particular day. How can we break this cycle of intergenerational poverty? We want to continue to serve people, but we also want to help them solve some of their issues and some of their problems. People need to educate themselves and read about what can be done. Folks can volunteer to help those who are needy. We can all be involved in advocating for the poor by writing our congressmen or speaking out on behalf of the poor. We can have our relationship to God. But  I think it was John Wesley who said 'all holiness is social holiness,'  it's how we treat each other, how we respect each other that really makes the difference. Some of the basic tenents of all faiths is that we have to be concerned for other people.
Bread for the World asked several prominent voices in the Christian community to share their vision of what it means to end hunger. This reflection comes from David Jeffrey. In his role as  commissioner of The Salvation Army, Jeffrey leads a network of 3,600 officers, 64,000 employees and 3.3 million volunteers serving in more than 7,500 Centers of Operation through the United States. He held the leadership post along with his wife Barbara Jeffrey, who serves as national president of Women's Ministries at The Salvation Army, since October 2013. Together, they have served in other leadership roles for The Salvation Army.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Dance and Raise Funds for NM Faith Coalition for Immigrant Justice

The New Mexico Faith Coalition for Immigrant Justice invites you to take out your dancing shoes and move to the music of Terra Plena and Mala Maña while helping raise funds for local efforts to promote justice for immigrants. This fundraiser is scheduled on Friday, September 16, 6:00-10:00 p.m., at the Center for Spiritual Living, 2801 Louisiana SE. (map). In addition to helping the NMFCIJ, the event also celebrates Mexico's Día de la Independencia on September 16, and independence day for Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica on September 15).
Buy tickets online or send a check to the New Mexico Faith Coalition for Immigrant Justice,  P.O. Box 40679, Albuquerque, N.M. 87916 ($20 or more suggested)  For more information, see flyer just below this video or contact Justin Remer-Thaemert (

Friday, September 09, 2016

Albuquerque Delegation Participates in El Camino del Inmigrante

On Aug. 27, we published a post about the participation of Bread for the World staff and volunteers in El Camino del Inmigrante, a 150-mile walk from San Ysidro (across from Tijuana) to Los Angeles. As it turns out, the 150 people who participated in the procession on Aug. 20-30 to raise awareness about issues with the immigration system included three residents of Albuquerque. The walkers from the Duke City are on the staff of  East Central Ministries (ECM). In fact, the slide show at the top of ECM's home page is comprised entirely of scenes from the pilgrimage. Here is a nine-minute video with reflections on the walk, posted by John-Mark Hart. East Central Ministries is one of the endorsing partners of the Interfaith Hunger Coalition.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

An Invitation to Celebrate World Food Day with Dance or Song

Brittany Sedillo created this image for our service
Keri Sutter, Executive Director at the sacred dance company Surgite, and David Poole, Director of Music at La Mesa Presbyterian Church (and also Director of the a capella men's ensemble de Profundis), invite you to participate in a very direct way in an interfaith service in Albuquerque on World Food Day, on Sunday, October 16.

If you like to sing or dance, you are invited to take part in a choir led by David or in a dance group led by Keri, at the service at First Unitarian Church, 3701 Carlisle Blvd. NE. The event begins at 3:00 p.m., but please arrive at 1:30 p.m., if you would like to take part in one of these activities. David has written a special chant for the service.

One Earth, One Home, One Table, a service of prayer linking food, climate change, immigration and economic justice, will feature scripture readings, reflections, music and dance from the Sikh, Baha'i, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Native American and other communities. The prayer will lead people to make a commitment to address hunger, climate change, immigration and economic justice through direct service or policy advocacy.