Presbyterian Hunger Program recognizes Hunger Action Congregations on World Food Day for their year-round efforts to end hunger

(PNS) The Global Food Week of Action began Sunday, Oct. 14, and runs through Oct. 21. The week provides Christians around the world a chance to address food justice and sovereignty issues. Food Week of Action includes World Food Day (Oct. 16), International Day for Rural Women (Oct. 15), and International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (Oct. 17). This year, the Presbyterian Hunger Program (PHP) celebrates more than 100 congregations as Hunger Action Congregations (HAC) that advocate for food justice not just one week during the year, but year-round, as part of their ministry outreach.

Women farming in Kurunegala, Sri Lanka Valéry Nodem

“World Food Day gives us a chance to express our gratitude for the abundance of God’s creation and show our love for the land, water, soil and all the many neighbors — sometimes spanning great distances — who grow the food we eat,” said Andrew Kang Bartlett, Presbyterian Hunger Program’s associate for national hunger concerns.

The focuses of this year’s actions were chosen by vote by the more than 50 Food Week of Action co-sponsors. They include:

  • Claiming rights — claim to food, freedom from want and ending racial oppression in the food system
  • Fair compensation — demand fair prices for farmers and other food producers, and demand fair wages for everyone in the food system
  • Food sovereignty — build sustainable local and regional food economies, reform the Farm Bill, and advocate for better EPA regulation of factory farms while banning the creation of new ones.

In addition, PHP is celebrating the ministry of 111 Hunger Action Congregations located across 31 states. Fifty of these are certified HACs, which means they perform ministry in all six of the following areas: hunger alleviation, development assistance, hunger education, lifestyle integrity, corporate and public policy witness, and worship.

For some HACs, like Tippecanoe Presbyterian Church in Wisconsin, Food Week of Action is a fulfillment of its daily mission. Others, like Covenant Presbyterian Church in Missouri, address the underlying systemic causes between hunger and poverty in the community.

“Presbyterians see hunger in a world of plenty as a tragedy, and these many congregations working together to address hunger and its root causes are expressions of concern about a system that leaves many wanting,” said Kang Bartlett. “Together we confess our complicity and pledge to continue our actions toward a world where healthy, nutritional and culturally appropriate food — the most basic of God-given rights — is available to all.”

To learn more about becoming a Hunger Action Congregation, and find downloadable resources, click here.

For ideas about how to engage in Food Week of Action, including suggested actions for each day of the week, click here.

The Presbyterian Hunger Program is able to share God’s love with our neighbors-in-need around the world because of gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing.

by Scott O’Neill, Presbyterian News Service