Friday, September 30, 2011

Bread for the World Took Root in New Orleans at Loyola University

Click on image to enlarge (this photo comes from Loyola Wolf yearbook)
It was the mid- to late 1970s and Bread for the World was still a very young organization.  Students at many college campuses around the country had embraced this new opportunity offered by Bread to address hunger through the use of our citizenship.  College students understood that this new concept was not a substitute for direct efforts to feed people; it was a complement.

At my alma mater, Loyola University in New Orleans, Bread for the World took root through a great group called the Loyola University Community Action Program (LUCAP), which to this day has endured as a strong option for social justice and service fat the university.

As a student, I participated in many LUCAP activities, but I must confess that I didn't jump into Bread for the World efforts at that time.  Still, the name of the organization became embedded in my memory and set the stage for me to eventually become involved.  It wasn't until the early 1980s, when I moved to Kansas City, that I became involved with Bread.  Regardless, I am proud to have been part of a student service organization that embraced Bread in its early days.

Since I wasn't initially involved, I contacted a couple of people who were part of the early LUCAP/Bread relationship: Sister Jane Remson, currently director of New Orleans Bread for the World, and Eddie Fernandez, S.J., now Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology and Ministry, at the Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara.

According to Sister Jane, LUCAP took on Bread for the World and anti-hunger advocacy as one of its projects through the 1990s. "The director of LUCAP was a member of our local BFW board of directors,"she said.

There was a strong endorsement from Washington for campus activities and Loyola was one university that got involved early on. "Art Simon was very supportive of student involvement in BFW," said Sister Jane, who noted that Bread, LUCAP and Xavier University in New Orleans teamed up to send several students to Washington, D.C. for BFW national gatherings.  "One of the earliest conferences attended by students was held at Catholic University and Tony Hall was one of the main speakers along with the director of UNICEF," she said.

A Campus Conference on World Hunger
Eddie Fernandez (who is pictured to my right in the photograph above), said one event that LUCAP participants in Bread for the World sponsored early on was a type of hunger banquet--an exercise that allows participants to appreciate the disparities between the small percentage of the population that is wealthy and the vast majority, who are poor. And there is a small group in the middle.  "We got certain tokens which represented how much buying power we had in the world," said Eddie.  "It was quite a lesson in how some first world countries had so much and third world ones so little."

Another major project sponsored on campus by LUCAP and Bread for the World was a joint conference on world hunger.  The academic community is a natural venue to continue the conversation and empower students and faculty to discuss solutions to global hunger and poverty. Many campuses are involved in this effort through Universities Fighting World Hunger.

There was a more recent relationship between LUCAP and Bread.  One of the participants in Bread's  first-ever Hunger Justice Leaders program in 2008 was Chad Carson, who was very much involved with LUCAP. Chad now works for the St. Bernard Project, an organization that has been rebuilding homes in New Orleans and St. Bernard Parish in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Continued support from Loyola 
Even though the strong link between LUCAP and Bread was lost in the 1990s, Loyola University as an institution has supported Bread for the World in a big way since the 1970s. The Twomey Institute at Loyola is a major sponsor of New Orleans Bread for the World, which Sister Jane Remson has made a strong vehicle for legislative advocacy, witness, and direct assistance in New Orleans.  The annual Walk for the Hungry has been a fixture in that community for many years.

And there is another connection between Bread and Loyola. Father Bill Byron, who was Dean of Arts and Sciences at the university in the 1970s, was one of the faith leaders who collaborated with Art Simon to create Bread for the World in 1974. 

So we take this opportunity to salute the strong history between Bread and Loyola, and Bread's enduring presence in New Orleans, which is just like those live oaks at City Park.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Discussing the Results of the July School Lunch Survey

In July, we alerted you to a visioning workshop in October that would take a closer look at how we in New Mexico could bring healthy and sustainable food to our school lunches.  
Well, October is just two days away, and it's time to start thinking about joining the discussion, which will take place in just a few weeks.
If you already marked your calendar, this is a friendly reminder. If this is the first time you've heard about this visioning workshop, you are cordially invited to join in the dialogue.  Here are the details:

DATE: October 22nd, 9:00 A.M.-Noon

WHERE: Harwood Art Center, 1114 7th NW, Albuquerque

The event is free and open to the public

Organizers plan to bring data collected from a recent survey to guide the discussion.  Many of you probably participated in the survey, which was sent out in July.

And if all this seems somewhat familiar, this visioning workshop represents the next step in the community discussion that was started last February.

For more information contact Erin Engelbrecht, 350-8984,   The Facebook Page is Rethinking School Lunch NM

This visioning workshop is sponsored by the following Rethinking School Lunch-NM Partners:
Action Communities for Health Innovation and Environmental Change (ACHIEVE):
APS Physical Activity & Nutrition Advisory Council (PANAC)
Mid Region Council of Governments Agriculture Collaborative (MRCOG)
New Mexico Collaboration to End Hunger
APS Growing Gardens Team
Farm to Table

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

True Priorities

A commitment to love and justice demands the transformation of social structures as well as of hearts."
- Mary E. Hunt

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Cy Young for Arise Africa

The Los Angeles Dodgers ace pitcher Clayton Kershaw is one of the top contenders to win the Cy Young.  This award is given annually to the top pitcher in each league, and Kershaw's statistics offer a powerful argument on why he should receive the Cy Young.  His record is 21-5, his earned run average is 2.28, and he has recorded 248 strikeouts.  These are better statistics than his likely competitors for the National League Cy Young award, Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay, both pitchers with the Philadelphia Phillies.

I had a chance to see Kershaw pitch in 2008
The ERA and the won-loss record are both very impressive.  But I'd like to focus on the strikeouts because they have an impact on a program that serves people in Africa.  If you recall, at the beginning of this baseball season I posted a blog about an effort by Clayton and Ellen Kershaw launched in conjunction with their involvement in Arise Africa, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping end poverty on the continent through health care, education, business and discipleship.  For everyone of his strikeouts, Kershaw pledged to donate $100 to the program.

So Kershaw struck out 245 batters during the course of the regular season, which is about to end in a couple of days.  This translates to about $24,500.  For a baseball player making millions, this probably is a little more than pocket change.  But I suspect that this is only a portion of what Clayton and Ellen will ultimately give to Arise Africa.  And who knows how many others learned about the program because of the efforts of the Kershaws to bring attention to the issue.

So here's hoping that Kershaw does indeed win the Cy Young award, not only for himself but also for all the many efforts to address hunger and poverty in sub-Saharan Africa (and around the world).

Monday, September 26, 2011

Just a Phone Call Away

Chances are you've heard the expression Just a Phone Call Away.  My guess is that it was created by Madison Ave. to encourage you to use a telephone service to contact a friend and relative.  

But this term can also be applied to your elected representative in Congress.  A number of organizations, including Bread for the World, have banded together to urge their constituents and supporters to make that call to Congress today, September 26, to support a higher appropriation for lifesaving poverty-focused development assistance.

Why today? This is very important week on Capitol Hill, as Congress will be making crucial spending decisions, and there are differing proposals on how much to spend on programs such as foreign aid.  We want to encourage our legislators to accept the much higher numbers proposed last week by the Senate Appropriations Committee.  Click this link to read more background from Bread for the World.

So let's review.  The message is simple.  For our New Mexico Bread members and supporters, call your member of Congress today and ask that he support the higher Senate numbers in the final appropriations bill for poverty-focused development assistance.  After all, Rep. Martin Heinrich, Rep. Steve Pearce, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, Sen. Jeff Bingaman and Sen. Tom Udall are only a toll-free phone call away:  800-826-3688 

But chances are that many people outside of New Mexico are reading this post, so fill in the blank with the name of your legislator.  The toll-free number applies to all.   And when you're making the call, please know that you are not alone.  I blogged yesterday about the action alert sent by Catholics Confront Global Poverty.  Others, including The ONE Campaign, InterAction, RESULTS, Church World Service, ActionAid, Save the Children, Oxfam, and CARE are also contributing to the effort to light up the phones on Capitol Hill today! 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Catholics Confront Global Poverty with Calls to Congress

You can start the coming week on the right foot by clicking the on button on your cell phone (I was going to say "picking up the telephone"--but that is so 1970s and and 1980s) and dialing 866-596-7030

This calling campaign is sponsored by the organization Catholics Confront Global Poverty, an initiative by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Relief Services

Here is the message: 

We ask Catholics across the United States to join a national effort on September 26th that will make the phones in congressional offices in Washington, DC ring all day with a single, unified message: Protect funding for life-saving poverty-focused international assistance in the FY2012 appropriations and debt reduction process. 

Raise your voice in support of this effort on Monday, September 26!

Here is some background:

Why should I care about this issue? 
 As Catholics, we are called to protect people who are hungry, thirsty, seeking refuge and care. Life-saving poverty-focused international assistance that fights hunger, disease and makes drought-prone communities in East Africa and other places more resilient is less than 1% of the budget. While our nation’s leaders must address unsustainable future deficits, your voice is needed now to stop deadly cuts to proven and effective poverty-focused programs.

Why September 26? 
In the next week, Congress must make decisions about funding levels for the FY 2012 federal budget, which begins on October 1, 2011. At the same time, Congress is grappling with how to deal with our nation’s deficits. Some proposals would drastically cut international and domestic poverty-focused assistance to people in dire need such as 12 million of our brothers and sisters who are facing starvation in East Africa right now who rely on our nation’s leadership and support to save their lives.

Your action is particularly important now because the funding levels for FY 2012 will become the template for decisions about how much the U.S. invests in life-saving poverty-focused assistance for the next decade. Your voice is critical now to support poverty-focused international assistance so that life-changing and life-saving interventions can continue to reach those who need it most.

Why is poverty-focused international assistance in danger? 
Poverty-focused international assistance doesn’t have a large, vocal constituency that will go to bat for it. Instead, it’s one of the easiest areas to cut in the federal budget even thought it only makes up less than 1% of the budget. The House of Representatives proposed reducing poverty-focused international assistance by over 13% in FY 2012 addition to last year’s cut of over 8%. 

As Bishop Howard Hubbard, Chairman of the International Justice and Peace Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Ken Hackett, President of Catholic Relief Services recently noted in a letter to the Senate: “This is not a balanced, moral approach to budget reductions.” They declared: “[T]the USCCB and CRS stand ready to work with leaders of both parties for a budget that reduces future deficits, protects poor and vulnerable people at home and abroad, advances the common good, and promotes human life and dignity. But we oppose an appropriations bill that places a disproportionate, deadly burden on the poorest people in the poorest places on earth.”

Will my one call make a difference?
Yes! Members of Congress respond to their constituents. Your voice, along with many others throughout the United States, in support of our brothers and sisters around the world, can and will protect poverty-focused international assistance. Call 866-596-7030 to raise your voice in support of this effort on Monday, September 26!

What Else Can I Do?
Spread the world via Twitter using the common hashtag #cutscostlives. Here are some sample tweets:
I just told my members of Congress that careless cuts to poverty-focused international assistance costs lives. Join me to SAY NO to budget cuts that will hurt the world's poor & to SAY YES to shared sacrifice. Will you? #cutscostlives @CatholicRelief Action Alert
URGENT: Tell Congress that Careless Cuts Cost Lives! Stop disproportionate cuts to poverty-focused international assistance that helps fights poverty, disease, and hunger #cutscostlives @CatholicRelief Action Alert
Tell Congress to stop careless cuts to poverty-focused international assistance that saves lives and lifts people out of poverty. #cutscostlives @CatholicRelief Action Alert
<1% of US budget saves millions of lives around the world and lifts up the world's poor. DON'T let Congress take that away! #cutscostlives @CatholicRelief Action Alert
Protect human life and dignity! Tell Congress NO to careless cuts to poverty-focused international assistance that saves lives. #cutscostlives @CatholicRelief Action Alert
Poverty-focused international assistance was cut by 8% last year and the House wants to cut another 13% this year. Tell Congress: these careless cuts cost lives. #cutscostlives @CatholicRelief Action Alert

Spread the word via Facebook by posting a message on your facebook page. Here are some sample posts: o Take Action Now: Tell Congress not to cut poverty-focused international assistance that saves millions of lives, and helps lift people out of crushing poverty. Action Alert
Lives will be lost if Congress votes to cut funding for poverty-focused international assistance that fights disease and hunger. Please tell your members of Congress to stop these disproportionate and careless budget cuts! Action Alert
URGENT: Tell your members of Congress to SAY NO to careless budget cuts that will cost lives among the world's poor and to SAY YES to shared sacrifice: Action Alert
Less than 1% of the US budget goes to poverty-focused international assistance, saving lives and lifting people out of poverty. Don’t let Congress make disproportionate and careless cuts that cost lives! Action Alert    E-mail your friends and family members and ask them to make a call.

Write or e-mail a letter to your member of Congress-visit our website for more information-in addition to calling them on September 26th.
Write a letter to the editor in your diocesan and local newspaper. Call your diocesan communications department or the CRS communications office for assistance.
Make an appointment with your member of Congress’ local office and visit them to talk about these issues. Call your CRS regional office for assistance.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Field Trip in West Africa

By Carole Jampsa Southam

These last few days, I have been experiencing the very unglamorous side of international development field work. Early wake-ups to get to field meetings. Working into the evening comparing notes. Being HOT, HOT, HOT (did I mention HOT?) during outdoor meetings with partner groups.

Food that is practically inedible for me and grosses me out as I watch others eat animal parts that should go into the trash. A hotel that I won’t even describe because I don’t want it to stay in my memory. (Nor will I mention the toilet facilities.) And then there was the small caterpillar that got into my shirt, bit my neck and shoulder, and has caused a horrible swelling and rash all the way down my arm…

I’ve been deep into the interior of Mali, in what is usually a very dry, desert-scrub landscape. But it’s the end of the rainy season, and in the town of Koro, the main road has puddles that sometime stretch further than the width of the road. Just outside town, the road looks like a boat would work better than the car. In fact, many of the villages that this project works with are simply inaccessible by vehicle during the rainy season. The Land Cruiser swings back and forth trying to find a drivable portion on (and sometimes off) the road, and we all hope that we don’t become stuck in the red mud that lies at the bottom of the puddles/ponds.

During a wrap-up meeting with one of our partners, the president of the group spoke with us. Mind you, he was speaking Dogon (or maybe Bambara), which was then translated into French, which was then translated into English, so conversations take a very long time. He thanked us for our monitoring trip to his organization and told us an African saying: When you carry something on your head, you don’t know if it’s tipping unless someone else tells you. This, of course, references the multitude of women and children here who carry items on their heads. It was funny that he used his cell phone to illustrate it.

Despite the difficulties, it is still exotic and exciting to experience cultures that are so different from my life. I count my blessings to have been born with the opportunities I was given. But I sure hope that this caterpillar-induced rash goes away soon…

(The author, a former vice president of administration and finance at Bread for the World, is currently part of a Lutheran World Relief delegation on tour of West Africa.  Read about LWS's work in Mali)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

UNM Students Fasting for Horn of Africa

This morning a group of students at the University of New Mexico, and perhaps some faculty and staff, began a fast in one of the rooms of the Student Union Building to raise awareness (and funds) about the dire situation in the Horn of Africa. 

The United Nations warns that the famine in the region could kill 750,000 people, primarily Somali citizens in the coming months, and tens of thousands have already died.  Read Glimpses of the Next Great Famine  by columnist Nicholas Kristof in The New York Times.

The fast at UNM, organized by the Muslim Student Association (MSM), has both the purpose of raising awareness and money.  Participants will follow the traditional practice during holy month of Ramadan, abstaining from food and drink (including water) from sunrise to sunset.  “The day consists of constant remembrance of God, contemplation of life’s true meaning, and overcoming physical pain in order to taste spiritual fulfillment,”  Mostafa Amini, president of the MSA, told The Daily Lobo student newspaper.

And a private donor has pledged to donate a specified amount of money for each person who participates.  This is the second consecutive year in which the MSA has organized a fast at UNM.  Last year, the fast raised $1,200 for flood relief in Pakistan.

“It allows the UNM community to feel and not only sympathize, but rather empathize with our fellow humans that are experiencing poverty, famine and other sub-human conditions,”  Amini said.

Many Muslim student groups have joined with other organizations around the country to sponsor a similar fast on this Wednesday, Sept. 21.  “This fundraiser is a human issue, meaning we want people of all different faiths, cultural backgrounds, different political ideologies, etc. to come help and support the people of the eastern horn of Africa,” she said. “As fellow humans we should bear the responsibility in making sure that we all help each other out, and this fundraiser is just another opportunity for doing so,” MSA secretary Danya Mustafa said in an interview with The Daily Lobo.

As is the custom during Ramadan, participants will end the day with a meal. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Heifer International to Host a Presentation on Peru in Corrales on Saturday

Kim Freeman, a veterinarian in Santa Fe, traveled to the highlands of Peru in December 2009 to visit several projects sponsored by Heifer International in that country's Cerro de Pasco region.  Here is a guest piece  for the Bread New Mexico blog ahead of a presentation in Santa Fe in September 2010.   

If you missed the Santa Fe event last year, you now have an opportunity to hear Dr. Freeman and view a slide show in the Albuquerque area.  The presentation will be held on Saturday, Sept. 24, at 6:30 p.m. at San Gabriel The Archangel Episcopal Church, 4908 Corrales Road in Corrales.

In the presentation, Dr. Freeman will share images of some of the beautiful places she experienced in Peru.  She will also talk about Heifer's work in that South American country and elsewhere around the globe and how it makes a profound difference in the lives of the participants. 

“It was an unbelievably inspiring and humbling experience to meet the men, women and children who live and work in these communities that are all at or above 10,000 ft,” she said.

Britt Densford, the new area volunteer coordinator for Heifer International in New Mexico and a host of this event, will talk about how churches and individuals in New Mexico can become involved in Heifer. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Fall Harvest with the New Mexico Alliance for Children

Hondo Garden
The New Mexico Alliance for Children invites you to its continuing fall harvest events this coming week in Ruidoso and Mescalero. All of the events are free and open to the public.

From 3:30 to 5 on Tuesday, Sept. 20, NMAC is hosting a cookout and pizza party in the Children's Garden at the Mescalero Apache Boys and Girls Club, 101 Central Avenue in Mescalero.  The event will feature homemade pizza and camp fire stew with the kids, using tomatoes, basil, squash, and other veggies, herbs, and spices fresh from the garden.

Hondo Garden
On Wednesday, Sept. 21, from 9:30 to noon, NMAC and the US Forest Service are co-hosting a Fall Harvest Festival at Smokey's Garden on Mechem Drive in Ruidoso. The children of Lincoln County Head Start will be returning to see the garden they helped plant last spring, participate in making a fall nature collage, sample fresh produce from the garden, and of course, visit with Smokey Bear.

Last Thursday, Sept. 15, the children of Hondo Head Start kicked off the festivities with their visit to the Hondo Community Garden to help harvest and make art with NMAC volunteers. 

Next Tuesday, Sept. 26, 3:30 to 5PM, NMAC will sponsor a Pizza Party at the Carrizo BGC. Volunteers are welcome to come and help us make all of these events memorable for the kids.

For more information contact NMAC director Julia Price,,  (575) 336-1933

(The NMAC thanks PNM Resources, the Albuquerque Community Foundation, the New Mexico Collaboration to End Hunger, and Share Our Strength for making these garden events possible and helping us to increase access to healthy foods for children in the Ruidoso-Mescalero area)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

My Two Favorite Lutheran Campus Pastors at UNM

On the 50th anniversary of Lutheran Campus Ministry (now Lutheran Episcopal Campus Ministry) at UNM, I want to show off my two favorite Lutheran campus pastors at the University of New Mexico.  (Actually, they are the only two Lutheran campus pastors I've known at UNM, but that's beside the fact.  Howard Corry and Anne Morawski have been great personal friends and also among the strongest supporters of Bread for the World in New Mexico). 

Howard, who retired from the post a few years ago, was my predecessor as volunteer coordinator for Bread in the First Congressional District.  He often organized Offerings of Letters among his students and occasionally offered Luther House as the site for our monthly meetings.  Anne, currently the campus pastor, helped us greatly with several of our major events, including our celebration of Bread's 30th anniversary celebration in September 2004.

Anne was one of 40-plus pastors in New Mexico who joined with thousands of clergy around the country in placing an advertisement in Politico this past summer. The ad, sponsored by Sojourners in conjunction with our joint Circle of Protection campaign, urged Congress and the administration to avoid potential cuts in domestic and international programs  that affect the most vulnerable members of our society.

We at Bread New Mexico are deeply grateful for our partnership with Lutheran Episcopal Campus Ministry and look forward to another 50 years (and more) of working together.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Decade of Praying for Peace

For Native peoples, the circle is powerful because it represents a continuous line without a defined beginning of an end; the circle of life

The circle can represent a hug or the breaking of divisions among us.  It is in this type of unity, in knowing that there are others beside us, that we are able to experience the presence of our Creator.

For many others, it is a deep symbol of peace.

It is in this context that we are invited to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Prayer Circle for Peace on Wednesday, September 21, in front of the UNM Bookstore, from 5:30 to 6:00 pm.

Vigil on Sept. 14, 2011

"We've been holding a place for peace every Wednesday since September 2001," said Judy Bierbaum, one of the organizers. "All are welcome."

The vigil has some meaningful history.  It was started as an alternative (or a complement) to the protests against the invasion of Iraq.  

And the vigil took on a deeper meaning during the weeks and months that Judy Bierbaum was in federal prison for her protests against the School of the Americas.

Some people are there consistently, others come when they can. Sometimes there are three individuals praying for peace, sometimes there are a dozen or more. And I suspect the latter will be true on 10th anniversary on Sept. 21.  Whether this is your first time, or whether you haven't been there in a long time (like me), or whether you're a regular,  I hope to see you there!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Commemorating Ten-Ten-Ten

Yesterday we commemorated the 10th anniversary of the tragedy of Sept. 11, a milestone event that had a profound impact on history, not only of the U.S., but of the entire globe.

I want to take the opportunity to reflect on another milestone day:  October 10, 2010 or 10/10/10.  That day is long gone, and I confess I don't remember doing anything special on that date.   But there were actions around the globe on that day have left an enduring blueprint for people on Earth to follow.

On 10/10/10 Micah Challenge led a campaign to encourage 1000 political leaders to take vital action over Millennium promises to halve extreme global poverty through advocacy meetings following the success of Micah Challenge’s 10.10.10 campaign, arguably the largest prayer and advocacy commitment ever undertaken by Christians.
Millions of promises ‘remembering the poor’ hand printed on cloth, signs and petitions on 10.10.10 will be delivered to policy makers globally after an estimated 60 million Christians in 70 nations prayed the same words of a prayer, corresponding with Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets.

30,000 people took part in 5 signature events, in Sydney, Chennai, London, Lusaka and Guayaquil, showing how churches around the globe are united in their desire to see poverty eradicated with passion. Videos can be viewed by clicking here..
And there was an even more extraordinary project.  Also on October 10th, 2010 (10/10/10), thousands of inspired individuals, representing every nation of the world, filmed their perspective and contributed their voice to a collaborative global film project. They amassed over 3,000 hours of footage on the day.

Many filmed topics of beauty and culture, while others exposed us to challenges, both global and personal.

Founded in 2008, ONE DAY ON EARTH is an online community, a video time capsule, and a media creation platform. It explores our planet’s identity and challenges in an attempt to answer the question: Who are we?

Here is the trailer for the remarkable film.

One Day on Earth - Motion Picture Trailer from One Day On Earth on Vimeo.

And there's more.  ONE DAY ON EARTH is in the process of putting together a similar project for 11/11/11  Click here to learn more.

Making the Journey from Plot to Plate Fair and Sustainable

‎"We have to make sure the journey from plot to plate is fair and sustainable, so that everyone always has enough to eat." - Emeritus Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Emeritus Archbishop Desmond Tutu talks about some of the problems with the ways in which we grow and produce food, and explains why he's joined GROW - Oxfam's campaign for a future where everyone always has enough to eat.

Here's what Oxfam says about the campaign.
GROW aims to tackle the injustices in ways we produce and consume food. This interview is part of a series of 'food conversations' about attitudes to food around the world. The results (both fascinating and alarming) show that, despite diverse tastes and availability, we may have more in common than you think.
Click here to find out more about the survey, and to join the conversation on food.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Full Hearts Filling Empty Bowls

It's just two weeks away....

Project Share invites you to attend its 17th annual 
Full Hearts Filling Empty Bowls

Sunday, Sept. 25,
at the facilities of Project Share,
1515 Yale Blvd. SE.

For just $25.00, this unique benefit includes the sale of extraordinary bowls/pottery donated by New Mexico’s talented potters (you receive one bowl with your $25.00 admission!), eating luscious soups, breads and desserts made and donated by many local restaurants, stores and bakeries, while listening to the wonderful entertainment of the Alpha Blue Trio and Soul Kitchen Trio. 

And you can participate in the fun silent auction—and other activities! Please mark your calendar now! Help make Full Hearts Filling Empty Bowls a huge success so Project Share can continue its mission to feed the homeless and hungry of Albuquerque in an environment, which fosters the opportunity for growth, education and change!! 

For tickets, call 452-0585 or order online on Project Share site

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Circle of Protection Vigil/Prayer Service in Albuquerque


As Christians, we believe the moral measure of the debate is how the most poor and vulnerable people fare. We look at every budget proposal from the bottom up—how it treats those Jesus called “the least of these” (Matthew 25:45). They do not have powerful lobbies, but they have the most compelling claim on our consciences and common resources. The Christian community has an obligation to help them be heard, to join with others to insist that programs that serve the most vulnerable in our nation and around the world are protected...We believe that God is calling us to pray, fast, give alms and to speak out for justice. -from the Circle of Protection Statement

The scriptures, Old Testament and New Testament, say all our activities start with prayer, with making that personal connection to our Creator.  That's the Greatest Commandment.  The Second Greatest Commandment is that we are not to limit that relationship that we've established to God alone.  We have to extend it to those who inhabit this planet with us, especially those who are most vulnerable.

Bread for the World, Sojourners and leaders from a wide range of Christian denominations have joined their voices to urge Congress and the administration to to form a Circle of Protection around programs that meet the essential needs of hungry and poor people at home and abroad.

In that spirit, we invite you to join us on a Saturday evening in Nob Hill in Albuquerque for a Circle of Protection vigil/prayer service to offer our prayers, reflect, renew our commitment to our anti-hunger ministry, bear witness in solidarity with vulnerable people in our country and around the world, and take action. 

Here are the details:
Saturday, October 22
114 Carlisle Boulevard SE
5:00 p.m.

We will start outside with a very short candlelight ceremony,  and a liturgical dancer will lead us to the sanctuary, where we will pray, reflect and at times sing. The liturgy will be similar (but also differ in some ways) to this prayer/reflection we offered at the Center for Action and Contemplation's Emerging Christianity conference in April 2010

We will conclude with  a light meal of beans and rice.  Afterwards, we will also have the opportunity to take legislative action.

As an offering, please bring one or more non-perishable food items to donate to local needs.

We hope you are able to join us. 

Friday, September 09, 2011

Many New Mexico Families Without Enough Food

By Meghann Dallin

On Tuesday September 7, 2011, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released its latest numbers on the state of hunger in America. I’m saddened by the results. 

The new figures show that 16 million kids faced hunger in 2010. That's 1 in 5 kids nationwide. With high unemployment and food and gas prices on the rise, millions of families – many in our own community - are struggling to make ends meet and children are suffering the terrible consequences. 

In New Mexico, 121,506 households are food insecure. Across the state, nearly 1 in 7 New Mexico households are unable to consistently provide enough food for their families.

The national food and nutrition programs for kids - such as the School Breakfast Program and summer food programming- can be the difference between empty stomachs and good health. We all have a stake in making sure that the children in our state and local communities have access to these programs, which can help kids learn, grow and thrive to their highest potential. 

The New Mexico No Kid Hungry Campaign, a partnership between the New Mexico Collaboration to End Hunger, a state-wide coalition of over 80 partner organizations, and Share Our Strength, a national anti-hunger nonprofit, focuses on connecting more children with food and nutrition programs across the state.

I encourage you to take the No Kid Hungry Pledge and be part of the great work being done to end childhood hunger by clicking on this link. If you would like to learn more about the New Mexico No Kid Hungry Campaign and find out what you can do in your community to fight child hunger, email us at  You can also join the campaign on Facebook

The author is manager of the No Kid Hungry Campaign

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Action Needed to Protect SNAP State Supplement

Dear Anti-Hunger Advocates in New Mexico:

The New Mexico legislature has an opportunity to restore funding for the SNAP State Supplement during the current Special legislative session. This program ensures over 4,000 low-income older and disabled New Mexicans receive at least $25 a month in SNAP benefits to put food on the table. Unless the legislature takes action, the program will be eliminated in October.

Please take a minute to call your state legislators and ask them to support Senate Bill 3 to fund this important program. Then write a letter to the editor highlighting the importance of this and other safety net programs.

If you have a Google account, log in, and Click on this link for a fact sheet with additional information

And here is a copy of Senate Bill 3, which appropriates the $450,000 needed to prevent the program from being eliminated. (Also available via Google Documents)

According to new data released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in its annual report on food insecurity, New Mexico no longer leads the country in hunger. On average in the years 2005-07, New Mexico had the second highest rate of hunger in the country. The New Mexico numbers released today covers the three years during the heart of the recession, 2008-10. During that time, New Mexico improved its ranking from 2nd worst in the nation to 13th. Click here to view the report.

The improved ranking is likely due in part to steps New Mexico had taken during that period to improve safety net programs, including creation of the State Supplement in late 2007. New Mexico is at risk of backsliding if it eliminates the very improvements which proved effective during the economic downturn.

Patricia Anders
Staff Attorney

Share Our Strength: Urge Your Community to Learn More about Childhood Hunger

Today (Sept. 7, 2011), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a report with eye-opening details about hunger in America. While childhood hunger has long been an invisible problem to many Americans, it is getting harder to ignore. In 2010:
  • One out of every five children lived in households that struggled to afford food
  • Over 16 million children were at risk of hunger
  • These numbers are part of a record-high, three-year trend for the 16 years in which the federal government has tracked this statistic.
The consequences of childhood hunger are devastating. Kids at risk of hunger are more likely to exhibit behavioral problems, suffer from fatigue and poor health, and perform poorly in school academically, athletically and socially. The release of these alarming statistics from the USDA presents an important opportunity to get out a critical message about childhood hunger. There are people in your community who care—people who’d be heartbroken to know that the kid down the street doesn’t have food to eat—but who won’t understand the impact that hunger has in their backyard unless someone tells them.

Here’s where we need your help. Click on this link to send an you send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper to encourage others in your community to learn more about childhood hunger and speak out? We’ve made it easy for you by providing you the message we’d like to you to share. The more we can make childhood hunger visible, the more likely we’ll be able to ensure no kid goes hungry in America.

Thank you for all you do to support Share Our Strength.


Billy Shore
Executive Director

Monday, September 05, 2011

September Blessings

September in the Albuquerque Foothills
May September’s blessings be yours:
May the start of new things
         be deep and fruitful in you.
May the changes in the air
         ring changes in your heart.
May the lengthening of nights
         bring deeper peace and rest.
May flocks of geese flying south
         bring you on a journey
         toward your own soul.
May falling leaves relieve you
         of what you do not need.
May new emerging colors
         spangle your spirit.
May summer’s soft departure
         give you courage to be,
         and to be without.
May grace bear abundant harvest in your soul,
         extravagant bushels of belovedness,
         fit for the table of God.
And for you in the Southern Hemisphere:
may new light dawn,
         and new opening within
         bid you to come.
From Unfolding Light blog

Friday, September 02, 2011

Welcome to Krista Kelley as the New Director of the New Mexico Collaboration to End Hunger

Krista Kelley chats with Julia Price, director of The New Mexico Alliance for Children
Welcome to Krista Kelley, as she takes over as director of The New Mexico Collaboration to End Hunger!

Ms. Kelley brings a great combination of skills to the job: eleven years of management, fundraising, marketing, and community and government relations experience. And did we say that she also offers strategic leadership skills and a strong commitment to addressing and implementing hunger initiatives?

She comes to the collaboration from an organization that has a strong reputation in our community for putting people first, Adelante Development Center (where she served as vice president for development). 

Nancy Pope and Krista Kelley
Ms. Kelley, who takes over for Nancy Pope as director of the collaboration, is a native New Mexican (and graduate of the University of New Mexico). So she is well aware of the problems facing poor and hungry people within our borders. According to the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), more than 28% of New Mexico households suffer from food hardship.

The new director of the collaboration looks forward to moving forward with some of the initiatives that are already in place, including a partnership with Share Our Strength in the New Mexico NoKid Hungry Campaign, which was launched in February 2011.  The campaign, which  focuses on ending childhood hunger in the state by 2015, has helped to increase child access to summer food programs throughout our state.

“I have had an opportunity to observe the impact that the Collaboration to End Hunger and its partnership with Share Our Strength have made and I look forward to leading the next phase of the Collaboration’s vital efforts in New Mexico,” Ms. Kelley said.

Over the next year the New Mexico No Kid Hungry Campaign, in partnership with Dairy Max, will be working across southern New Mexico to provide outreach, mini-grants, and other resources to support schools to increase student access to school breakfast.

We at Bread New Mexico are grateful for our strong relationship with the collaboration and look forward to continuing our networking efforts under its new director Krista Kelley and its manager Sarah Newman.