|Back: Gilbert Gallegos (staff), Harvey Sternheim, Carlos Navarro, Larry Buelow, Ellen Buelow: Front: Rachel Sternheim, Terri Christiansen, Terese Rand Bridges, Brenda Sinfield, Joy DInaro|
On Friday, June 16, 2017, several Albuquerque residents involved with Bread for the World met with representatives of Senator Tom Udall, Senator Martin Heinrich, and Albuquerque area’s Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham.
Carlos Navarro, Bread’s volunteer state coordinator for New Mexico, organized the visits to be in conjunction with Bread for the World’s Lobby Day which took place in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, June 13, 2017. Ellen and Larry Buelow, parishioners at Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Catholic Community, even arrived back in time from Capitol Hill to join us on Friday for our Albuquerque lobby visits. (Thank you, Ellen and Larry for representing New Mexico Bread for the World in D.C.!)
Samuel Chu, synagogue organizer for MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, also arrived directly from the airport to be with us that afternoon. He flew in from Southern California to work with Congregation Albert this weekend in their local efforts to end hunger at the Erev Shabbat later that evening and again on Saturday for a strategy session.
|Meeting at Sen. Martin Heinrich's office|
The group’s talking points at each office included expressing gratitude because each of the three politicians, including Udall, Heinrich, and Lujan Grisham, has a strong track record of supporting initiatives to help those who are hungry here in New Mexico and in the U.S. as well as abroad.
|Samuel Chu joined us for our meeting with Sen. Tom Udall's staff|
Lastly, the group stressed that no structural changes should be made (such as addition of block grants) that would change the amount and manner in which federal aid is given to those who are hungry across the country. On the international front, we talked about how international food aid should come from within the country in need whenever possible (as shipping food from the U.S. across the world is both more costly and less nutritious from utilizing local food sources).
The high temperature for the day approached 100 degrees, which made us glad that all three congressional offices were in the same building!