Friday, January 30, 2009

The CARE Action Network invites you...

Save the date for Thursday, March 5! If you want to learn more about the great work that CARE does to fight global poverty by empowering marginalized women and girls to bring lasting change to their communities here’s your chance.

In honor of International Women’s Day, CARE will present A POWERFUL NOISE in 450 movie theatres nationwide. The movie will be shown at 5:30 p.m. Mountain Time

Albuquerque, Santa Fe and central and northern New Mexico residents can view the movie at the Albuquerque Dowtown 14 and the Cottonwood 16 buy tickets

For our friends, in Las Cruces and southern New Mexico, the nearet theater is the Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso buy tickets
The movie takes you inside the lives of three women from different countries to witness their daily efforts to fight HIV/AIDS, champion girls’ education and unite ethnically divided communities. The film will be immediately followed by a town hall discussion with expert and celebrity panelists – including Nicholas Kristof, Christy Turlington Burns and Dr. Helene Gayle - broadcast live from New York City to participating theatres.
There is the possibility that the CARE Action Network (CAN) will host a local question-and-answer session. To find out more, please drop a note to Keith West-Harrison, CAN's volunteer state coordinator in New Mexico.

"We are trying to fill more than 120,000 theatre seats on March 5, so your presence is important! Forward this to your friends, family and co-workers and invite them to come to the theatres on that date," said Mr. West-Harrison.

CARE would like to make this the
biggest awareness-building event in the organization's history. If you would like to help, you can take steps such as as championing a theatre, posting banner ads on your websites, or creating an event on your Facebook page. Local and national assistance is provided. Please drop a note to Mr. West-Harrison at the above address or visit this site.

"I would also encourage you to pass this on to your co-workers, book clubs and other personal/professional organizations that you may be involved with," said Mr. West-Harrison. "We have resources they can use to turn this into a group night out as well."

Mr. West-Harrison had a chance to view the movie at the CARE National Conference in Washington last summer and offers a strong recommendation.

"It was an emotionally moving experience. To see how these women live compared to our lives is drastic," he said. "It was truly inspiring to see how people with so little have made such a big impact on their communities."

If you would like to know more about CARE and CAN, please join us at the Bread for the World Offering of Letters Workshop in Santa Fe on March 1. Mr. West-Harrison is one of our speakers.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


A Bread for the World Workshop for Las Cruces and El Paso

  • LEARN about Bread for the World's 2009 Offering of Letters Campaign and how to organize in your community
  • LEARN what is going on in your local community on poverty and hunger in relation to immigration and the faith community
  • LEARN about poverty and nutrition
  • REFLECT on the biblical basis for justice
  • ACT and get your congregation or campus to make hunger history.
Peace Lutheran Church
1701 E. Missouri Ave,
Las Cruces, N.M.
10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.


The Forum is FREE and sponsored by Bread for
the World and Peace Lutheran Church’s World
Hunger Committee. Participants will receive a
free 2009 Offering of Letters Kit.
Click here to RSVP


10:00 a.m. Welcome and Opening Prayer
-LaVerne Kaufman, District Coordinator, Bread for the World Las Cruces.
Seeking Justice on the Border

- Rebecca Wiggins, College Instructor, NMSU
Rebecca has worked with issues of poverty,
economic development and human rights
in the border colonias of the United States and Mexico and also with women in Chiapas, Mexico.
Bread for the World’s 2009 Offering
of Letters Video.
- The 2009 Video highlights this year’s Bread campaign to urge Congress to rework U.S. Foreign assistance to make it more effective in reducing poverty with stories from Latin America
and Africa.
Following the video Meredith
Story-Williams, Regional Organizer for the Central Southern Region will discuss how to conduct an Offering of Letters.
11:05 Break
Reforming Foreign Assistance

- Robin Stephenson, Field Organizer for Bread for the World’s Western Region, will give a
power point presentation on this year’s Offering of Letters campaign.
Breaking of Bread

- Peace Lutheran Church’s World Hunger Committee will provide a simple meal of Bread and Soup
Biblical Basis For Justice

- Ellen Young, long time member of Bread for the World, will provide insights into the Biblical
basis for justice.
Breakout Sessions (see below)

Reassemble for benediction and final

Participants may choose one of the following sessions for the afternoon.

A. Advocacy 201
: Building the Anti-
Hunger Movement Locally
Think globally and organize locally. Organizers Robin Stephenson and Meredith Story-Williams will teach participants methods to organize in their own communities through chapter building, congressional visits and outreach.

B. Our Borders. Our Neighbors
Ryan Steinmetz, Director of Border Servant Corps in Las Cruces and El Paso along with Rebecca Wiggins will discuss efforts to provide for the needs of border communities in the region.

C. Poverty and Nutrition
Kari Bachman, Program Coordinator of Nutrition Education at NMSU will talk about nutrition, food culture, and food security for low income families.

LaVerne Kaufman, Volunteer District Coordinator, Bread for the World Las Cruces. (575) 382– 7430.

Robin Stephenson, Field Organizer Bread for the World Western Region. (888) 75-BREAD Extension 5.

Meredith Story-Willams, Central Southern Region, (888) 257-0239

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Mark Your Calendars

Offering of Letters Workshops

In 2009, Bread for the World will urge Congress to rework U.S. foreign assistance to make it more effective in reducing poverty. While the world has changed dramatically, the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act still drives how we deliver foreign aid.

U.S. foreign aid programs are scattered across 12 departments, 25 agencies, and nearly 60 government offices. A more efficient system will ensure poor people get help faster and more effectively. In 2009, a new U.S. president and Congress present a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make U.S. foreign assistance more effective in reducing hunger and poverty.

Come learn how your church, congregation or group can participate in the campaign.

Saturday, February 28
9:30 a.m.-Noon

St. Andrew Presbyterian Church
5301 Ponderosa NE
(east of San Mateo, north of Comanche)

Mark Peceny, chair, Political Science Dept., UNM
Mark is a long-time member of Bread for the World. His research and teaching interests at the University of New Mexico lie in the areas of international relations, U.S.foreign policy and inter-American relations. He will give us a brief history and background on U.S. foreign-aid policies, and how those policies have affected countries around the world.

Robin Stephenson, Bread for the World field organizer
Robin works out of the Bread for the World western regional office in Portland, Oregon. She will provide background about this year’s Offering of Letters, including strategies for letter-writing and relevant legislation.

Maria Franco-Tapia, Heifer International staff
Maria is on of two community relations coordinators for Heifer in the Central Region, which includes New Mexico. She will tell us about the work of her organization in poor countries around the world and how people in New Mexico can become involved in the work of Heifer. Heifer International works with communities around the world to end hunger and poverty and to care for the earth.

Click here to RSVP for this workshop

Sunday, March 1
1:30-4:00 p.m.

First Presbyterian Church
208 Grant Ave. (across from the former Sweeney Center)


Tom McDermott, former UN regional director
Tom, who spent 39 years working in international development through UNICEF and the Peace Corps, will give us a bit of background on U.S. foreign aid policies and how those policies have affected other countries. He is currently special events coordinator and community liaison for the Santa Fe Council for International Relations, a >non-partisan organization dedicated to the belief that individual citizens can shape foreign relations “one handshake at a time.”

Robin Stephenson, Bread for the World field organizer
Robin will provide background about this year’s Offering of Letters, including strategies for letter-writing and relevant legislation.

Keith West-Harrison, New Mexico state chair, CARE Action Network (CAN)
Keith, who is based in Santa Fe, will tell us how people in New Mexico can become involved with CAN, which is comprised of volunteers around the country who support the work of CARE. Their main goal is to educate our nation's leaders about issues of global poverty. CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty.

Click here to RSVP for this workshop

For more information, contact

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Table of Blessings

First United Methodist Church is one of the congregations in Albuquerque that has most embraced Bread for the World. The evidence is the way in which the church chose to observe Hunger Sunday this year on the Sunday before Thanksgiving.

The Social Justice Team and Pastor David Okerberg used bulletin inserts, scripture readings, bulletin reflections, pulpit reflections and a special monetary offering to ensure that the congregation was in solidarity this day with poor and hungry people around the world. (The congregation collected more than $1,300 for Bread for the World).

But the organizers wanted to ensure that Hunger Sunday was not going to be just a one-day event. They put together a booklet, comprised of favorite short table blessings from members of the congregation, to distribute a few weeks after Hunger Sunday.

"Their blessings are collected here for your use and reflection,"
said the booklet. "Some are family-related or personal; others are anonymous; some tuneful and physical; some are traditional; others are 'different.' Some are borrowed from famous writers; others are heritage blessings in the language of our ancestors.

All are filled with joy, praise, thanksgiving, and love of God and of our brothers and sisters who suffer from want.

Behind every effort like this one, there is always one person or team that provides the energy to make it happen. In this case, the person was Estella Gahala, who also led the congregation's successful Offering of Letters campaign in the spring. "Our association with...Bread for the World has blessed us at FUMC," said Estella.

Click here to read a sampling of the blessings in the booklet.

A sampling of blessings

Here is a sample of some of the blessings contained the First United Methodist Church booklet:

Personal blessings:
Come, dear Jesus, be our guest.
Bless this food thou has given us.
-Vicki Zinn

Traditional blessings:

Our morning Joy, our evening Rest,
And with our daily bread impart
Thy love and peace to every heart. Amen.
-the Book of Common Worship

Tuneful blessings:
(Sung to the tune of "The Addams Family")
We thank you for our food, Lord,
For all the things you do, Lord.
We thank you for our parents
And all our family,
Do do do do
Do do do do
Do do do do.
-Dana Stringer

Not-Your-Typical Blessings
First everyone finds the cook and throws a kiss to the cook.
Then everyone throws a kiss skyward.

Borrowed Blessings
For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
(offered by Calla Ann Pepmuller)

Heritage Blessings
A New Mexican blessing:
Bendito seas, Se
ñor, Dios del universo,
Por este pan, fruto de la tierra y del trabajo del hombre,
Que recibimos de tu generosidad
Y ahora te presentamos;
El ser
á para nosotros
pan de vida.
-offered by Estella G

O Lord, give bread to those who have hunger
and hunger of Thee to those who have bread.
-Haitian proverb

Monday, January 05, 2009

'Last year I was your donor, and this year I need your help.'

Q: How much have you seen hunger and poverty increase in the state in the last year, or in the last few months as the recession has worsened?
A: I'm entering my 23rd year doing this kind of work. I have never received the kinds of calls and inquiries as I am receiving now. For one thing, we're receiving requests for food help via e-mail, which I don't remember until the last few months that ever happening. And the e-mails are coming from places you would recognize — businesses and places that you would know, and the people who are working there need help. We started seeing it as a consequence of all of the inflation — the inflation in fuel, which is now reversed, but fuel drove up the price of things and the price of those things has not dropped, like food. People were just finding that their salaries weren't making it anymore. It just didn't stretch far enough.
I also found this question very interesting....

Q: So hunger is no longer that far removed from the local business world?
A: I can't say where those e-mails are coming from. I wouldn't say. But Business Outlook readers have employees who are at work sending e-mails to the food bank saying I can't feed my kids. And we're seeing huge percentage increases — 30 and 40 percent increases (in people in need) from the organizations that we serve. And the numbers were high already. A lot of those people are new, brand new, people who never needed help before. Some of them have even said to us, 'Last year I was your donor, and this year I need your help.'
If you have a delivery and/or online subscription to the Journal, click here to read the full piece.