|The Indiana Bread team poses with Sen. Joe Donnelly|
The most prominent speaker at the event at Northminster Presbyterian Church that day, however, was U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly, who addressed the crowd of about 65 participants for about half an hour. Sen. Donnelly serves on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry, which considers the legislation that is relevant to nutrition programs and will have major input into the Reauthorization of the Child Nutrtion Act, the topic of Feed Our Children, Bread for the World's 2015 Offering of Letters.
Among other things, Sen. Donnelly spoke about nationwide efforts to address hunger in our country, including the successful backpack program, which provides children who qualify for school meals during the week with food for the weekend. “There are children all over the states in all economic strata who are facing these challenges,”Sen.Donnelly said. “And that little backpack gives them hope when they go home for the weekend and gives them dignity.” See coverage from Indianapolis television station Fox 59.
The conference, entitled "Voices Uniting to Feed Our Children," also featured four workshops relevant to the Offering of Letters: 1) Strengthening our National Child Nutrition Programs, 2) Good Nutrition for Mom and Baby Through WIC, 3) Healthy Meals in Schools & When School's Out, and 4) Church Voices Uniting: The 2015 Offering of Letters.
The impressive conference was just the latest project from one the most active Bread state grassroots organizations in the country. Bread members in Indiana have developed a website that provides information on the 13 local Bread chapters (including a virtual e-chapter), hunger statistics for the state, reasons to get involved in anti-hunger efforts and much more. Check out the great website for Bread Indiana.
(Pictured in the photograph above from left to right: Jon Gromek. Bread for the World organizer; Rev Dave Schreiber, Resurrection Lutheran Church; Dr. Dave Miner, Board Chair Emeritus, Bread for the World; Rev Judy Dunson, Church Federation of Greater Indianapolis; Senator Joe Donnelly; Rev Teri Thomas, Northminster Presbyterian Church; Rev Dr. Dick Hamm, General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the US and Canada 1993-2003; Rev Dr. Matt Boulton, President, Christian Theological Seminary; Monsignor Joe Schaedel, St Luke's Catholic Church; Fr. Steve Schwab, St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church)