Churches Responding to Growing ‘Food Insecurity’ Challenge

Post a Comment » Written on November 23rd, 2009     
Filed under: News
CHICAGO, IL (November 23, 2009) – Just-released government data shows that more than one in seven American households – 14.6 percent – suffered from food insecurity in 2008, a report that presents both challenge and opportunity for Christians to respond, says Debbie Blue, executive minister of the Evangelical Covenant Church Department of Compassion, Mercy and Justice.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) figures reflect a 3.5 percent increase from 2007, the largest one-year increase since the USDA first began publishing data in 1998. The USDA defines food insecurity as “limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or limited or uncertain ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways.”

Blue praised the work of Covenant churches that are providing food relief around the country, but added more needs to be done. “We also need to advocate for the way the government funding is appropriated.”

Blue was at a board meeting of Bread for the World, a longtime close partner with the Covenant, when the figures were released. Board members were not surprised by the news.

“What should really shock us is that almost one in four children in our country lives on the brink of hunger,” said Bread President David Beckmann. “The recession has made the problem of hunger worse, and it has also made it more visible.”

The problem is particularly acute among minorities, according to the reports, which show that one in four African American and Latino households are food insecure, compared with one in 10 white households.

Many Covenant churches are involved in Bread’s Offering of Letters, which addresses a particular issue each year, and opportunities will be available at the Covenant’s Annual Meeting in 2010, Blue said.

To learn more about hunger issues, click here.

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