Yesterday in this blog, we talked about how stereotypes of hungry people are a major hurdle to understanding and ending hunger.
(Postscript to that blog: when we avoid stereotypes of hungry people, we may also be protecting ourselves and our children, because studies show that most Americans will need food assistance at some point in their lives!)
Stereotypes divide all of us, including those who don’t need food assistance. This is clear to anyone who’s not been in a coma for the last year or two. There is great divisiveness in our land, over all kinds of things. Amanda Taub wrote in the New York Times: “Partisan bias now operates more like racism than mere political disagreement”. We have to ask ourselves, “What does our heart tell us when our head is bombarded with so much information from so many sides?”
What we have learned from our hearts, and our heads, in our quest to end hunger in Indiana is that we need everyone. Hunger is like a 250 lb. fullback – it’s not sitting back and waiting, it’s coming at us full on, and we have to team tackle it. The problem is so large that we need public and private, faith-based and secular, business and nonprofits all working together. If we collaborate, we can meet the challenge. SNAP is an essential part of the team.
This collaboration means working beyond our usual boundaries – working with people who are different. Indy Hunger Network and other Hunger Free Community groups across the country do this. IHN’s collaboration has meant millions of additional meals for Indy. The photo is from a meeting yesterday of IHN leaders with Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb to discuss collaborations to end hunger.
Likewise, Bread for the World collaborates to impact US policy. In fact, the only way to change public policy is through working together. Bread brings together Christians from 50 denominations and lots of others as well.
The hunger problem is solvable, if we set aside labels and get to know one another, and focus on working together to assist those in need.
I urge you to join your voice with ours and request our government continue to do its part to end hunger. Contact your Congressional representative and let them know that their constituents include the hungry, and they deserve to be fed. Urge them to oppose cuts in funding for SNAP.