Oregon BFW is part of a nationwide Christian citizens movement seeking justice for the world’s hungry people by lobbying our nation’s decision makers.
An effective response to hunger must combine private and public actions, neither can do the job alone. Christians have worked well in the private arena, Bread for the World provides a means where Christians can work equally well for effective public policies in the fight against hunger…
Congressional Switchboard: (202) 224-3121
Join the Oregon Bread Team, work with us to reduce the scourge of hunger from our country and our world ( Email )
Review the Partners for a Hunger Free Oregon Legislative Agenda for Salem.
Oregon Food Bank is extremely disappointed that the congressional farm bill committee has approved a bill that includes a draconian cut of $8.6 billion to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Oregon Food Bank opposes this bill because of the inclusion of this deep cut to food benefits that will lead to increased hunger in our state. In fact, Oregon would be disproportionately impacted because it is one of just 15 states that utilize the USDA option this bill restricts. If the conference bill is approved, Congress would cut benefits for 78,000 Oregon households, each of which would lose an average of $58 a month. That’s more than 22 meals – enough for a family member to eat for a week.
Beyond the immediate impact on families that struggle to purchase enough food, this cut would cause Oregon to lose $54.3 million in SNAP benefits per year. This is money that is spent in grocery stores and farmers’ markets across the state and helps support local businesses.
The farm bill proposal comes on the heels of an $11-billion cut in SNAP benefits last November that reduced benefits for all participating households.
The bill now goes to both chambers of the U.S. Congress – the Senate and House of Representatives – for full votes.
Please voice your support for Oregon families experiencing hunger. Email your Senators and House member to tell them to oppose the farm bill with its $8.6-billion SNAP cut.
Nate Reaver Advocacy & Community Engagement Coordinator Oregon Food Bank
|Praying into 2014 I invite you to join Bread for the World and our partners in the Circle of Protection in supporting Caritas Internationalis’ new campaign to end hunger, which is endorsed by Pope Francis. They are calling for people to pray at noon on Dec. 10 in each time zone, starting in Samoa and proceeding west in a “wave of prayer” as the day goes on. Read more »|
|Act Now! At this very moment, leaders in Congress are finalizing a deal on the farm bill. At this critical moment, Congress needs to hear from you. Read more »|
|Bread with Your Coffee, Senator? This is a story of how Bread for the World advocacy methods work. Our story includes a senator, a barista, and a wealthy fundraiser; but this isn’t a tale of inside-the-Beltway intrigue. Read more »|
|On Faith: Listening with Heart When I read the story of Jesus’ birth recently, what stood out was not the journey to Bethlehem or the birth of Jesus in such humble conditions, but rather Mary’s response to who Jesus is. Read more »|
|Policy Focus: Limited Time Left Congress has only a few days left to finish the farm bill and reach a budget agreement that addresses some of the sequester. Read more »|
|Welcoming New Board Members and Officers Bread for the World members recently elected new members of its board of directors, joining 25 returning board members. Read more »|
The Oct. 16 budget deal in Congress re-opened the government and raised the debt ceiling for a few months longer. This deal and new deadlines have set off an intense period in which Bread for the World will have to work extremely hard to protect funding for programs that address hunger and help people move out of poverty in the U.S. and around the world.
From now through January, Bread for the World’s primary focus will be on three legislative priorities:
- Protecting SNAP and international food-aid reform during the final negotiations on the farm bill
- Advocating for a 2014 budget agreement that ends the sequester and provides revenues
- Advancing comprehensive immigration reform
Last week, some parts of this busy fall and winter legislative agenda got underway. Congress’ budget conference committee held an organizing meeting and its first public meeting, and the farm bill conference committee held its first public meeting. Meanwhile, on Nov. 1, $11 billion in food stamp (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP) cuts went into effect.
We will need your help in order to achieve our legislative priorities, especially since the timing that these issues will be dealt with is tight. Here are key dates to note:
- 13: Budget conference committee holds its second public meeting
- 25: Bread for the World Institute releases its 2014 Hunger Report: Ending Hunger in America
- 13: Deadline for the budget conference committee to reach an agreement
- 1: Certain effects of expired farm bill begin (milk prices, etc.)
- 15: Continuing resolution for federal budget expires. Congress must pass a spending bill to prevent another government shutdown.
- 7: Debt-ceiling extension expires. Treasury Department begins using extraordinary measures to prevent default.
March 2014 or later
- Treasury Department exhausts all extraordinary measures, and Congress must raise the debt ceiling to prevent a default.
Throughout this intense period, we will be calling on you again and again to help urge your members of Congress to advance our legislative priorities. Thank you for your commitment to ending hunger and for going with us into these busy few months.
From the Oregon Faith Roundtable against Hunger…
“But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” Luke 14: 13-14
The headline in
today’s Oregonian tells the story “From hungry to even hungrier: Cuts to food stamp allotments mean those used to doing without will have to learn to do with even less”
The example of Bob and Janet Raes Bread for the World members and Oregon Faith Roundtable Against Hunger Conveners gives us hope.
Many Bread members have introduced their churches to JustFaith, an adult education program that explores the biblical prescription to heal our broken world and foster congregational and individual wholeness. The 24 weekly sessions are carefully planned for faith sharing that includes prayer, study, and immersion, and deepens the participants’ understanding of the biblical basis for advocacy.
The Raes facilitated the program at West Linn Lutheran in Oregon and saw how it transformed lives.
The immersion part of the program helps break down invisible barriers that hide suffering in the world. Bob and Janet recalled how simply listening to a homeless couple’s experience opened up a new world to their group. The homeless couple told a story of selling bracelets on the sidewalk with their dog and feeling that they weren’t treated with dignity. A passerby offered them money to feed their dog, but ignored them as people. The message to the couple was that the dog deserved compassion, but they did not.
“Our groups said ‘we are going to really see people,’” said Janet. “Some ride the bus now and that has just changed them.” Their congregation sponsored 3 months of rent to transition a homeless family into stable housing, and spent the time to help them move in and listen to their goals. Bob and Janet know that compassion is relational.
Through JustFaith, participants learn about both charity and advocacy—the latter is often harder for churches to embrace. “People are so allergic to the word ‘advocate’—instead of advocating we say we are ‘seeking justice,’” said Bob. JustFaith has helped their church to take a deeper look at the root causes of hunger and write letters as part of Bread for the World’s yearly Offering of Letters campaign, which asks Congress to create programs and policies that end hunger and poverty.
Even though participants in JustFaith are a small subset of any congregation, as other parishioners see the group transform it leads to changes in the church. “It’s an invasive species,” said Janet, with a smile.
One Thing You Can Do
In August Bob and Janet Raes, and others from the OFRAH and faith-based anti-hunger communities, met with Congressman Kurt Schrader’s office to advocate against any cuts to the food stamp program. Among their many activities, the Raes volunteer in a food pantry three times a week and shared many real-life examples, underscoring the fact that reductions in anti-hunger programs are not abstract. Real families suffer from real cuts to food stamps.
Reprinted from Bread for the World’s http://blog.bread.org. Written by Robin Stephenson, National Lead Social Media / Senior Regional Organizer at Bread for the World, and Portland Metro OFRAH Convener