“One of the most devastating effects of poverty is hunger, and we cannot End Hunger Now if we’re not talking about it. This is a big problem. This is a problem that is not going away unless we act,” says Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) in a series of speeches he’s making on hunger in America on the floor of the House of Representatives.
Rep. McGovern is working to highlight the struggle of Americans fighting hunger. He is directly challenging his colleagues in the House, the Senate, even the President – all of us – to end the scourge of hunger. He calls on President Obama to hold a White House Conference on Food and Nutrition. If held, this would be the first nationwide hunger summit convened by the White House in more than 44 years. It’s a national shame it’s been that long.
A nationwide hunger summit would highlight the fact that some 50 million Americans are food insecure. That the safety net programs keep our more vulnerable brothers and sisters from starving but we should not be satisfied with the status quo. We have the technical expertise and means to end hunger now. What we need now is to sit down on national level and get strategic and plan how to make that a reality. America landed someone on the moon. We can do this.
What can you and I do to help? How can we build on McGovern’s voice and work to build the political will to fight hunger? By being noisy. By calling our Representative and Senators and telling them that the safety net works and is worth saving. In the midst of the sequestration and upcoming budget debates, vital programs like SNAP (formerly food stamps) and school lunch programs are in real danger of cuts.
Our advocacy can’t stop at the phone. Rep. McGovern is encouraging the use of the hashtag #EndHungerNow on Twitter as a way to get a national conversation going about hunger. Join the discussion. Lift up the cold, hard facts about hunger to your friends and family. Tag your Congress members in your tweet and tell them that you believe in a faithful budget.
Write a letter to the editor. Send an email to your members of Congress. Walk in your CROP Hunger Walk and fight hunger in your local community and on a nationwide and global level. Be part of Ecumenical Advocacy Days this April in D.C. We all have different roles to play in this historic fight. Just showing up and making your voice heard really matters. Only when a vibrant and vocal grassroots community demands action will anything be done.
Hunger is not a partisan issue. It is a human issue. It’s time to get our elected officials on board.
By Angela Rupchock-Schafer, Social Media Manager/CWS