SESSION 6 TOOLKIT

 

Session 6:

Download this week's toolkit [PDF]

FOCUS: HELP US TO TRUST, AND PARTNER FOR CHANGE

  • We need to get about the work of hunger relief… and no one group or set of experts can do that work alone. We'll need connections, all sorts of new and interesting bonds of connection.
  • Partnering, really partnering, is key to the next phases of this journey toward ending hunger in Philadelphia, a journey that requires a committed focus and a commitment to ongoing action.

WHO ARE SOME OF OUR PARTNERS FOR LEARNING AND ACTION?

Alfred Lubrano, Inquirer Staff Writer

Joel Berg, Director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger

Joel, a former USDA administrator and now hunger activist, calls the country to attention in his book entitled How Hungry is America, and is cited in a Philadelphia Inquirer article by Al Lubrano, entitled, Hunger Expert says Government Must Lead the Fight. "Fighting hunger without the weapon of big federal dollars is like fighting drought without water. The belief that charity does it better than government only ensures hunger will persist," Berg says. "When people get food from a pantry, that's not a success. It's a failure of American policy." Berg believes government and all of us can work better/smarter to reduce the exponentially growing ranks of food insecure persons in our communities.

WHAT DOES THIS TRUST AND PARTNERSHIP LOOK LIKE?

Richard Harwood, from the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, talks about the sweet spot of public life. This is a place

  • where groups focus on a key public issue while simultaneously building community.
  • where values are expressed that reflect recognition of the connection each of us has to one another and to the community.
  • where the strategic use of resources, and thoughtful selection of effective actions are considered in a planning effort that incorporates the best the community has to offer.
  • and where we view each other as fellow citizens, asking and expecting one another to put the public/ collective interest before private consideration.

WHERE DO WE PLACE OUR TRUST AND OUR FAITH?

In the God who asks us to:

Do Justice
Love Kindness, and
Walk humbly with God and with each other…

"We need to do all three of these, because they are truly seamed together.

  • If we seek justice without kindness, we fight ardently for the day when things are made right, but we fail to show God's love for one another along the way.
  • If we love kindness, but don't work for justice, we will help only those whose names we know and we will sometimes unwittingly perpetuate their need for help.
  • If we do justice and love kindness, but fail to walk with God, we will lose our way and we will lose heart."

– Jill Schumann, former CEO of Lutheran Services in America

In Closing

Let us Walk Humbly with God and with each other… and recognize that ,for the first time in American history, the President of the United States comes from a home where the use of food stamps was part of his lived experience. President Obama personally understands this issue and his Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, announced on his first day in office the federal government's determination to end childhood hunger by 2015. This series of circumstances has never happened before in our country's history. A goal to seriously reduce childhood hunger has been set. Legislation and policies to support that goal will be introduced at the federal levels. We must decide if we will support this goal, believe in it, advocate to fund it, and place our faith in its achievement. Will Philadelphia commit to the work and create the plan that sets the framework for hunger alleviation over the next decade in this city?

We will have choices to make… The question is, Do we have the will?

Wondering what YOU can DO about hunger in our region?

As a group or congregation, you have learned about the crisis of hunger in our region, and heard and read the stories of our neighbors who struggle to provide for themselves and their families. You have prayed for those who are hungry, and your congregation now hungers to build a more just and compassionate society where all are fed.

This is an important time for your congregation and for our community. Your participation in City Soup has prepared you to play a leading role in the effort to insure that all our neighbors are provided with the simple dignity of healthy food. Here are a few ways that you can express your leadership and commitment to ending hunger.

  • Talk to your friends about what you've learned using the City Soup guide… encourage others to begin using and learning from it any time. This effort is not over…. It is really only beginning.
  • Discover who in your community might be struggling with food insecurity. Look for ways to share a meal with them. Share your story if that person is you.
  • As a community, continue your learning, and reach out to any of the organizations or persons presented in this guide for information, volunteering, or donating.
  • Let your vocations, your talents, your interests come into play by walking with, engaging in, the type of activity that appeals to you.
  • Keep eating simple, healthy meals. We all can benefit from this choice.
  • Keep walking with prayerful intention around your neighborhood. Keep moving in committed action toward hunger relief in the city.
  • Continue to Raise a Voice for Justice through advocacy efforts.Click here for week 6 instructions on letter writing, and stay connected – City Soup organizers will provide you with important alerts as they surface.
  • Walk or Run Against Hunger on Saturday, April 14th. We'll meet at the City Soup Tent. Look for our banner.
  • Come to the Interfaith Day of Prayer, Friday April 20th, at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. Details to come.

Prayerful reflection

Glory be to God whose power working through us, can do infinitely more that we can ask for … or imagine.

Click here to see how we are grateful for the things we have accomplished together!

Suggested Recipe

Italian Minestrone Soup (pdf)

 


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