Today I began a 50 meal fast. This action comes after much prayer and reflection. My purpose in doing this fast is to make a personal statement about the inhumanity of an action in Congress, the Budget Resolution recently passed by the House of Representatives.
This budget proposal is strikingly immoral. The Resolution included $150 billion in cuts to SNAP (formerly food stamps) over 10 years. What does this number really mean? Calculating the impact on Hoosiers – it translates to 50 million meals taken away from children, veterans and seniors each year for ten years.
I have devoted the last decade of my life to improving the systems to try to assure that no one goes hungry. I know the food assistance systems more than well enough to know for sure that most of the 50 million meals cannot be covered some other way. Real people, millions of times a year, will go hungry.
I believe this proposal is also unwise. Hungry people increase our health care costs and crime, and hunger hurts our economic competitiveness.
Jesus fed people who were hungry, all of them. His disciples were instructed not to send the people away hungry. Wishing to do what I can I will fast. Every meal I’ll miss for the next 16 days represents roughly a million meals in jeopardy for Hoosier children, seniors and veterans if the drastic cuts being debated in Congress become reality.
I have a plan to fast safely. My decision to miss meals is my own choice, while our most vulnerable neighbors could go hungry through no choice of their own. People of conscience should speak out. I am sharing the experience through my personal and organizational networks, and with those who represent me in Congress, in the hope of bringing attention to the cruelty of these cuts.
I welcome your prayers. More importantly I invite you to join me – pray for our nation, share this concern with others, and let your voice be heard in Washington by contacting your Congressional representatives.
I also invite you to read about the work being done by Bread for the World on behalf of the hungry. Standing united and speaking up is how we can end hunger, together.
For the next 15 days, I’ll be sharing more information about ending hunger as well as sharing my 16-day journey at millionmealfast.com.