ELCA World Hungerhttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCAWorldHunger/Food Insecurity is Real - Even in IowaAlison Northrophttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCAWorldHunger/642http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCAWorldHunger/642<div class="ExternalClass6EA3497D1017456888A0DB22CF7F6165"><p><em>This week, we are happy to welcome Alison Northrop as a guest writer.&#160; Her post below originally appeared in the January newsletter of Zion St. John Lutheran Church in Sheffield, Iowa, and on the Northeastern Iowa Synod's blog, &quot;God's Work, Our Blog.&quot;&#160; If you haven't had a chance to see the synod's blog, check it out for some great posts at </em><a href="http&#58;//www.northeasterniowasynodelca.blogspot.com/"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;"><em>www.northeasterniowasynodelca.blogspot.com</em></span></a><em>. </em></p><p>When I was younger, I was a picky eater. To be fair, the incident I'm about to describe involved eating lamb brains at an age when I still enjoyed the show &quot;Lamb Chop's Play-Along.&quot; I was at a Greek restaurant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, with my father and his mother.&#160;</p><p>Absolutely nothing on the menu was appealing to me. The restaurant smelled funny, I was tired, and quite frankly, I was stubborn. I remember settling on a salad which was far from filling, but at least I knew what was in it. Then my grandmother declared that I would try her dinner, and I would like it. Folks, it's a terrible idea to tell an 8 year-old that you just made her eat brains – while she's still chewing.&#160;</p><p>As I spat out my food and frantically tried to rinse my mouth out, my grandmother gave me THE line. <em>&quot;There are starving children in Ethiopia. You should be grateful to have food!&quot;</em> At the time, I mumbled that I would be more grateful to have normal food, but like most picky eaters, I heard this line frequently through childhood.</p><p><strong>Over 800 million people in the world are chronically hungry. </strong>That's 1 in 8. Chronically hungry means undernourished to the point of not being able to lead a normal, active life. Notice I said world, not just Ethiopia. When American people think of hungry children, many typically think of African children whose bones stick out. Those children do exist and do need our help, but there's another face of hunger that we don't like to think about. You see these faces all the time, in person.&#160;</p><p>If you think there are no hungry children in small-town Iowa, you are so very mistaken. Food insecure children often rely on their schools for regular meals. These children can depend on their schools for breakfast and lunch but often don't know if they will eat dinner when they go home, or if they will have much or anything to eat over the weekend and school holidays. These children may be irritable or hyperactive, show vitamin deficiencies, and have difficulties in school. Chronic hunger affects brain development; necessary development for our future leaders.&#160;</p><p><strong>One out of every two children will rely on food assistance at some point in their lives</strong><strong>.</strong><a href="/blogs/Lists/ELCA%20World%20Hunger/NewForm.aspx?Source=http%3a//search-admin.elca.org/blogs/Lists/ELCA%2520World%2520Hunger/Browse.aspx%23InplviewHash0c1eef9b-303a-45ca-8f67-7d206737f1cc%3D&amp;RootFolder=#_ftn1"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">[1]</span></a> That assistance isn't always enough. In fact, it rarely is. The price of food steadily climbs, and parents often have to choose between healthy food for a week or two and junk food that they can stretch through the month. A twelve-pack of Ramen noodles is less than half the price of a gallon of milk. What would you do in that situation? Empty calories get you through the day, but it's incredibly unhealthy in the long term.&#160;</p><p>The problem is not with food production. This planet produces enough food to feed its entire population. The problem is with distribution. It could be a corrupt government that withholds foreign aid from its people.&#160;</p><p>Or it could be a food desert or <a href="http&#58;//www.ers.usda.gov/amber-waves/2010-march/access-to-affordable%2c-nutritious-food-is-limited-in-%E2%80%9Cfood-deserts%E2%80%9D.aspx#box2"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">&quot;food swamp&quot;</span></a> in large metropolitan cities and small towns. A rural food desert is classified as a county where residents have to drive 10 or more miles to the nearest supermarket or grocery store. The classification of an urban food desert is one mile to the nearest supermarket or grocery store.&#160;</p><p>So how do people get to this point? Laziness? Drugs? Sometimes, yes. But when <a href="http&#58;//www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&amp;id=3894"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">more than half (and as much as 85%) of families on food assistance have at least one working adult in the home</span></a>, I find it hard to believe that the majority of those who are hungry are lazy. Often, it's a matter of circumstance.&#160;</p><p>Those who are born into poverty are more likely to stay in poverty. Sometimes the main provider of a family loses their job and cannot find another. Some families go from a two-parent home to a one-parent home, often due to divorce or death. Have you ever wondered what a single parent with multiple children goes through when the other parent doesn't pay child support? &#160;</p><p>Why should any of us help people facing food insecurity? Some of us have fallen on tough times ourselves and pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps.&#160;</p><p>Maybe we should do it because the children in these situations didn't make the choices that got them there. Whether it's the parent's bad choices, lost jobs, or divorce, it is NOT the fault of the child.&#160;</p><p>Maybe we should help these families because it's what Jesus expects of us.&#160;</p><blockquote dir="ltr" style="text-align&#58;left;margin-right&#58;0px;"><p style="margin-left&#58;0px;"><em>For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in...</em></p><p style="margin-left&#58;0px;"><em>&#160;Matthew 25&#58;35&#160;</em></p></blockquote><p>In December, our congregation (Zion St. John Lutheran) displayed what kind of Christians we wish to be. The amount of food we sent to the Franklin County food pantry was overwhelming. The Spirit of West Fork is a program that assists families in providing for their children at Christmas.&#160;</p><p>With the school's winter break lasting two full weeks and three weekends, there are a lot of meals that the school will not be providing to the children that rely on them. Our congregation sent over 300 items to the school to be distributed through that program. The Spirit of West Fork served 26 families this year, with a total of 70 children.&#160;</p><p>I don't know what the situations of those families are, and I don't need to. I am just thankful that as a congregation, we did not let these children go hungry through our own inaction.&#160;</p><p>God's peace,</p><p>Alison Northrop</p><p>Director of Youth &amp; Family Ministries<br> Zion St. John Lutheran, Sheffield, Iowa</p><p>&#160;</p><p><em>**Thanks to Alison and Pastor Joelle Colville-Hanson for permission to re-post.</em><br><br></p><p><a href="/blogs/Lists/ELCA%20World%20Hunger/NewForm.aspx?Source=http%3a//search-admin.elca.org/blogs/Lists/ELCA%2520World%2520Hunger/Browse.aspx%23InplviewHash0c1eef9b-303a-45ca-8f67-7d206737f1cc%3D&amp;RootFolder=#_ftnref1"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">[1]</span></a> &quot;Estimating the Risk of Food Stamp Use and Impoverishment During Childhood,&quot; <em>Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine</em>, 163(11), November 2009.</p></div>01/22/2015All the fabrics were beautiful, but only one was covered in feet! Rev. Robin Brownhttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCAWorldHunger/641http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCAWorldHunger/641<div class="ExternalClassEB9974D987EC4542BAAD79536AC920BC"><p>​<span style="line-height&#58;1.6;">In November I was blessed to accompany <a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/en/Our-Work/Global-Church/Global-Mission/Diakonia">ELCA Diakonia </a>staff members to Cameroon to meet with representatives of the Lutheran church in Cameroon, Denmark, France, Germany, and the United States, all in partnership with the Evangelical Lutheran Church&#160;of the&#160;Central African Republic as it plans and administers health, education and sustainability projects in the villages of Central African Republic.</span></p><p>&#160;</p><p>While there, we were asked to stand in front of the congregation after worship in the Garoua-Boulai hospital chapel ​on Friday morning and as we were all introduced (in French) the congregation said &quot;Ahhh&quot; when they heard it was my first trip to the continent. We were each presented with a gift of fabric, and apparently randomly - &#160;but in the Holy Spirit there are no coincidences – mine was covered in feet, all different shades of the gold, green and reddish brown of the native vegetation and earth. The group of partners grinned, acknowledging the significance of the feet, not only for my journey to Africa, but for my journey to ELCA World Hunger.<img alt="photo.JPG" src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20World%20Hunger/Browse/photo.JPG" style="margin&#58;5px;vertical-align&#58;baseline;" /></p><p>&#160;</p><p>The journey began with my father, who was national sales manager for a Chicago-based restaurant supply company. I admired his quiet, gentle yet powerful success, and followed his footsteps into national account sales and marketing with a career apparel firm based in Deerfield, Illinois. Then in mid-life the Holy Spirit called me into the ministry of word and sacrament. I attended the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago&#160;and served congregations in Northeastern Iowa and Metropolitan Chicago Synods – until this fall when the Spirit moved once again. I began my position with ELCA World Hunger in October. &#160;My focus is on congregations&#160;and supporting them in their work, which in turn supports the domestic and international health, education and sustainability projects we do as ELCA World Hunger and Disaster Response. I'll be travelling throughout the United States to visit congregations two to three Sundays every month, learning from those who are so actively engaged, and helping to engage those who are not yet supporting this vital work of our church.</p><p>&#160;</p><p>It has been a joy to begin this work with such faithful, wise, compassionate colleagues – and I look forward to getting to know <em>you</em>! What a journey we are all on together, all our footsteps guided by the Holy Spirit as together we partner on this journey, accompanying God's people so that all have food, water, health care, and income.<img alt="10703687_10152749626110428_9056604201809338865_n.jpg" src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20World%20Hunger/Browse/10703687_10152749626110428_9056604201809338865_n.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;vertical-align&#58;text-top;" />&#160;</p><p><em>The Rev. Robin Brown is Associate Director of ELCA World Hunger and Disaster Appeal, Congregational Support. Before joining the ELCA World Hunger Team, Robin served as a parish pastor in suburban Illinois.&#160;</em></p></div>12/05/2014ELCA Pastor Tackles Minimum WageRyan P. Cumminghttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCAWorldHunger/639http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCAWorldHunger/639<div class="ExternalClassF3ED9456F27849C58C865C479771C4CA"><p>​It is no secret that many workers in the fast food industry are not paid enough to support themselves and their families.&#160; <a href="http&#58;//laborcenter.berkeley.edu/pdf/2013/fast_food_poverty_wages.pdf">A recent report found that 52% of front-line fast-food workers receive some form of public assistance</a>, nearly twice the proportion of all workers who receive public assistance.<img alt="quote.JPG" src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20World%20Hunger/Browse/quote.JPG" style="margin&#58;5px;vertical-align&#58;auto;float&#58;right;" /></p><p>It is also no secret that the pulpit often has been a platform for prophetic voices, from John Chrysostom decrying excessive wealth in the Fourth Century to Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., indicting segregation with the Word of God in the Twentieth Century.&#160; This year, Rev. Annie Edison-Albright of Redeemer Luther Church (ELCA) in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, brought her voice and faith to bear on the plight of workers struggling for a living wage.&#160; Her prophetic sermon was <a href="http&#58;//www.beatitudessociety.org/news/64-meet_our_2014_brave_preacher">recognized by The Beatitudes Society, which awarded Rev. Edison-Albright its 2014 J. Philip Swander Brave Preacher Award</a>!</p><p>Her poignant words call us to see our neighbors differently and to strive for justice in accordance with our baptismal vocation.&#160; You can read the full sermon <a href="http&#58;//origin.library.constantcontact.com/download/get/file/1114973702272-96/Edison-AlbrightBravePreacherSermon.pdf">here</a>, but below are some selections.</p><p>Rev. Edison-Albright reminds us what is at stake when workers are mistreated or ridiculed for their efforts&#58;</p><blockquote dir="ltr"><h3>&quot;What it comes down to is this&#58; the person you degrade, and dehumanize, and call names ... that person is Jesus.&#160; That person working at McDonald's is Jesus.&#160; And she's Jesus regardless of how smart she is, or what life choices she's made. The stone the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. The person you reject is the cornerstone&#58; an essential, important, beloved child of God.&quot;</h3></blockquote><p>She declares to people of faith that our hope is well-founded and calls us to carry that hope into the world&#58;</p><blockquote dir="ltr" style="margin-right&#58;0px;"><h3>&quot;When it comes to big issues like poverty, it’s easy to get cynical, to get angry and judgmental, to be apathetic and try to ignore it, to get overwhelmed and feel like there’s nothing we can do. But if Jesus Christ was born, lived, died and rose from the dead, then anything is possible. And we truly are empowered to be God’s hands and feet and voices in the world.&quot;</h3></blockquote><p dir="ltr">Powerful words from a powerful preacher.&#160; Congratulations, Rev. Edison-Albright, and thank you!</p><p dir="ltr">Follow these links&#160;to learn more about the ELCA's commitment to a living wage&#58;</p><blockquote dir="ltr" style="margin-right&#58;0px;"><p dir="ltr">Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton's Letter to the US Senate (April 2014)&#58; <a href="http&#58;//download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/Federal_Minimum_Wage_Letter_To_US_Senate.pdf">http&#58;//download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/Federal_Minimum_Wage_Letter_To_US_Senate.pdf</a></p><p dir="ltr">Fact Sheet on Raising the Minimum Wage&#58; <a href="http&#58;//download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/Raising_the_Federal_Minimum_Wage.pdf">http&#58;//download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/Raising_the_Federal_Minimum_Wage.pdf</a></p><p dir="ltr">Hunger, Poverty and the Minimum Wage (ELCA World Hunger blog post)&#58; <a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCAWorldHunger/624">http&#58;//www.elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCAWorldHunger/624</a></p><p dir="ltr">Social Statement on Sufficient, Sustainable Livelihood for All (1999)&#58; <a href="http&#58;//download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/Economic_LifeSS.pdf">http&#58;//download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/Economic_LifeSS.pdf</a></p></blockquote></div>11/21/2014Playing the "Hunger Game" in the United States: When the odds are NOT in your favorGina Tonnhttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCAWorldHunger/640http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCAWorldHunger/640<div class="ExternalClass5EAC49F3F9364349815753DF54B20221"><p>​This weekend the &quot;beginning of the end&quot; of one of the most popular book and blockbuster film series of the decade hits the big screen. <em>The Hunger Games&#58; Mockingjay Part 1</em> will no doubt lure fans of Suzanne Collins' best-selling dystopian trilogy to movie theaters in droves across the country. People of all ages will be on the edge of their seats to see whether Katniss will prevail in the fight against the Capitol, how the love-story will unfold and, of course, whether or not the movie is true enough to the book to appease the most loyal fans. </p><p>While I must admit that I have read all three <em>Hunger Games </em>books, and did so in perhaps what was near-record time, my interest this week in anticipation of the movie release lies more along the lines of the connections we can draw between the perils of Panem – the fictitious setting of the novels - and the culture of food, class and justice in the United States. A quick Google search of &quot;The Hunger Games + real life&quot; reveals everything from conspiracy theories to blog rants about how the United States of America IS the Capitol. Although I don't take quite the extreme view, I do find several specific connections compelling&#58; </p><p><strong>1</strong><strong>)</strong> the rising role of food as a marker of social class in the U.S., and <strong>2)</strong> the outrageous excess and waste of our consumption we too often fail to recognize. </p><p>From the outset of the series, a vast food gap is depicted between the Capitol and the various districts of Panem. Vignettes of extreme gluttony and extravagance – Capitol residents are able to take a pill to make themselves throw-up some of their food in order to continue indulging in elaborate meals – are contrasted with desperation, as Katniss revels in the acquisition of a single burned loaf of bread. The food gap in the United States may not look the same as that portrayed in the <em>Hunger Games</em>, yet food is nonetheless becoming an increasingly prominent marker of social class.&#160;In the United States&#160;the food&#160;gap reveals itself more in the type of food consumed. The well-off continually seek out healthier, fancier, more ethically produced foods. Those struggling financially often have little access to choices other than the empty calories of inexpensive, processed foods. In September of this year, the Harvard School of Public Health released a study in the <em>Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine</em><a><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">[1]</span></a> tracking the eating habits of just under 30,000 Americans between 1999 and 2010. The study revealed that over the last decade <strong>&quot;diet quality has improved among people of high socioeconomic status but deteriorated among those at the other end of the spectrum.&quot;</strong><a><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">[2]</span></a> </p><p>The paradox of this situation is that the push to improve overall health of Americans – from easing the obesity epidemic to lowering health care costs and incidence of diet-related diseases – seems to be a ubiquitous value. Yet, what is considered &quot;healthy&quot; is often only accessible to a relatively small portion of us. Healthy lifestyles are not solely determined by the foods we eat, but also by the ways we use our bodies, the air we breathe, the water we drink. Families and individuals who struggle to feed themselves healthy food because of financial limitations are unlikely to have the time or energy to exercise regularly.<a><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">[3]</span></a> All of these problems compound rising healthcare costs, which can be an added burden, especially for families with children. Furthermore, the widening food gap promises to have cyclical consequences; as people fail to afford healthy food, their health is susceptible to deterioration, which can then intensify and deepen income inequality, and so on.<a><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">[4]</span></a> It just goes to show, when you don't play fair, nobody wins – especially in the real life &quot;hunger game.&quot; </p><p>Food's role as a marker of class has been recognized and discussed for some time, as <em>The Washington Post</em> notes in their article about the 2014 Harvard study.<a><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">[5]</span></a> (See <a href="http&#58;//www.newsweek.com/what-food-says-about-class-america-69951"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">this piece</span></a> in Newsweek from 2010). <strong>So if the problem has been known for the last half a decade or more, why has the gap just kept on growing?</strong> It would be nice if the food gap could simply be closed by single solutions, like taxing junk food at increasingly greater rates or building a Whole Foods in every low-income neighborhood.<a><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">[6]</span></a> But the reality is that, like most things, this problem is multi-faceted. </p><p>What we eat is an incredibly personal part of our lives, and whether we recognize it or not each of us has a relationship with food. Research reported on by Policy Link and The Food Trust &quot;reveals that healthy eating is embedded in a complex set of relationships…[including] transportation options, quality and price of produce and other healthy food options, marketing of unhealthy food to children, and cultural appropriateness of neighborhood food choices.&quot;<a><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">[7]</span></a> The food gap is stretched by income inequality, education inequality, food access inequality and limited choice, differences in taste and tradition, and the fact that often times it seems like what is considered &quot;healthy&quot; just plain old keeps changing faster than most people can keep up with! While this cacophony of policy problems is inevitably frustrating, I like the takeaway of a response to the <em>Hunger Games' </em>themes of food and power written a few years ago. The author says&#58; <strong>&quot;Those of us with so much, we need to share.&quot;</strong><a><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">[8]</span></a> </p><p>And the thing is, we DO have plenty to share here in the United States. A report from the USDA released in February 2014 suggests that <strong>we waste approximately 1,249 calories of food per person, per day in the United States</strong>.<a><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">[9]</span></a> Much of this food waste is fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods that &quot;spoil&quot; or are discarded due to irregular appearance. I find this startling. Perhaps the American food scene is more akin to that in the Capitol than I first suggested. The enormity of our waste is captured eloquently by National Geographic&#58; &quot;More than 30 percent of our food [in the United States], valued at $162 billion annually, isn't eaten. <strong>Pile all that food on a football field and the layers would form a putrefying casserole miles high</strong>.&quot;<a><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">[10]</span></a> So maybe that isn't so much eloquent as it is disturbing. The good news is that reducing food waste, along with encouraging healthy eating, is a trend people are tackling more and more (football pun intended). Globally, new storage methods are being introduced. Here in the US businesses are innovating to cut down on waste. Farmers and producers are innovating to lessen food loss.<a><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">[11]</span></a> </p><p>There is no doubt a long way to go in righting food distribution injustices of waste and inaccessibility. In all we do to eradicate food loss, we should always keep an eye to how we can help those who don't have enough food or enough <em>good </em>food, have more on their table. We should remember just how much abundance there really is in the world, and that there is always something – <strong>resources, knowledge, compassion </strong>– to share.</p><p>&#160;(<em>The Hunger Games&#58; Mockingjay Part 1 </em>isn't your only option for a food-centric movie-going experience this weekend.<em> Food Chains, </em>a documentary about a grassroots movement for farm workers' rights, will be released nationwide on November 21<sup>st</sup>. More information about the film and the movement at <a href="http&#58;//www.foodchainsfilm.com/"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">www.foodchainsfilm.com</span></a>.)</p><p><em></em>&#160;</p><p><a><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">[1]</span></a> <a href="http&#58;//www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/u-s-diet-shows-modest-improvement-but-overall-remains-poor/"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">http&#58;//www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/u-s-diet-shows-modest-improvement-but-overall-remains-poor/</span></a> </p><p><a><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">[2]</span></a> <a href="http&#58;//www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/09/access-to-real-food-as-privilege/379482/"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">http&#58;//www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/09/access-to-real-food-as-privilege/379482/</span></a> This article also notes the study's conclusion that diets in the US have improved overall when socioeconomic status is not accounted for, but one of the researchers notes that &quot;the growing gap between the rich and poor [is] 'disturbing.'… There can by no tenable 'overall improvement' when there is growing disparity around a point so critical to preventative medicine, or when there is deterioration among any such sizable marginalized population.&quot;&#160; </p><p><a><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">[3]</span></a> <a href="http&#58;//thinkprogress.org/health/2014/08/22/3474767/poor-people-use-diet-supplements-more/"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">http&#58;//thinkprogress.org/health/2014/08/22/3474767/poor-people-use-diet-supplements-more/</span></a> </p><p><a><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">[4]</span></a> <a href="http&#58;//www.cbsnews.com/news/rich-poor-dietary-gap-widening-in-u-s/"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">http&#58;//www.cbsnews.com/news/rich-poor-dietary-gap-widening-in-u-s/</span></a> </p><p><a><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">[5]</span></a> http&#58;//www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/09/02/americas-growing-food-inequality-problem/</p><p><a><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">[6]</span></a> Whether or not introducing health foods stores in low-income areas improves diet is debated. <a href="http&#58;//www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?PaperID=42342"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">http&#58;//www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?PaperID=42342</span></a> This study actually takes an analytical look at the impact of health foods stores in gentrifying neighborhoods and reveals that this would actually probably not work at all. Other research suggests there are myriad benefits to their introduction from diet quality to economic boon. Policy Link and The Food Trust state, &quot;Living closer to healthy food retail is among the factors associated with better eating habits and decreased risk for obesity and diet-related diseases.&quot; <a href="http&#58;//thefoodtrust.org/uploads/media_items/executive-summary-access-to-healthy-food-and-why-it-matters.original.pdf"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">http&#58;//thefoodtrust.org/uploads/media_items/executive-summary-access-to-healthy-food-and-why-it-matters.original.pdf</span></a> </p><p><a><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">[7]</span></a> Ibid.&#160; </p><p><a><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">[8]</span></a> <a href="http&#58;//www.agriview.com/news/regional/the-real-world-hunger-games-not-so-far-fetched/article_4a6bc506-a537-11e1-9244-0019bb2963f4.html"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">http&#58;//www.agriview.com/news/regional/the-real-world-hunger-games-not-so-far-fetched/article_4a6bc506-a537-11e1-9244-0019bb2963f4.html</span></a> </p><p><a><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">[9]</span></a> <a href="http&#58;//www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/02/27/283071610/u-s-lets-141-trillion-calories-of-food-go-to-waste-each-year"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">http&#58;//www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/02/27/283071610/u-s-lets-141-trillion-calories-of-food-go-to-waste-each-year</span></a> </p><p><a><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">[10]</span></a> <a href="http&#58;//news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/10/141013-food-waste-national-security-environment-science-ngfood/"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">http&#58;//news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/10/141013-food-waste-national-security-environment-science-ngfood/</span></a> </p><p><a><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">[11]</span></a> Ibid. </p><p>_______________________________________</p><p><em>Gina Tonn is a Program Assistant with ELCA World Hunger through the Lutheran Volunteer Corps. While an avid reader, she rarely makes an effort to see the latest films. &quot;I just can't sit still that long!&quot; she says, when pressed about the fact that it took her approximately a month to watch &quot;The Lord of the Rings&#58; The Fellowship of the Ring.&quot; She is still working up the wherewithal to start &quot;The Two Towers.&quot; </em></p></div>11/21/2014Welcome to the team, Kelly Winters!Kelly Wintershttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCAWorldHunger/638http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCAWorldHunger/638<div class="ExternalClass80FCF6FA085D434AB41BD44EFBB10192"><p>​November 18, 2014</p><p>My name is Kelly Winters, and I am excited to join the ELCA World Hunger team as the Assistant for Constituent Engagement! My role involves responding to inquiries and communication from our wonderful constituents, and I look forward to talking with many of you about how your congregation can learn more about ELCA World Hunger.&#160; I am also eager to hear about your ideas on how to raise awareness around hunger and poverty.</p><p>I come to ELCA World Hunger from Grace Lutheran Church of La Grange, Illinois, where I served as the Administrative Assistant.&#160; Before moving to the greater Chicago area in 2010 I worked around the country in Outdoor Ministry.&#160; Camping has always been a huge part of my life and spiritual growth, and continues to be important to me as I currently serve on the board of the Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Center in Oregon, IL.</p><p>Originally, I am from Ohio where I lived near Lake Erie, enjoying summers hanging out at Lakeside or Cedar Point.&#160; I went to college at Capital University in Columbus, OH, and received my degree in Communications.&#160; It has been many years since I lived in Ohio, but I still think of myself as a Buckeye at heart.</p><p>Now I am happy to continue to work for the ELCA; where we value always being made new, while staying rooted in our rich history.&#160; ELCA World Hunger is an amazing mission of our church in the way it takes a comprehensive approach to the topics of hunger and poverty, and partners with Lutheran connections around the world, in order to assist communities where they need it most.&#160; I am just grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of a team that is so passionate about the work they are doing!<img alt="Kelly.jpg" src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20World%20Hunger/Browse/Kelly.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;vertical-align&#58;auto;float&#58;right;" /></p><p>Some fun facts about me&#58;</p><ul><li>My hobbies are quilting, glass art (making stained glass, kaleidoscopes and glass beads) and anything outdoors (hiking, kayaking, etc).</li><li>I love listening to folk &amp; bluegrass music, and frequently go to concerts at the Old Town School of Folk Music. I am also learning how to play the upright bass - bluegrass style.</li><li>Though I haven't done much international travel, I have been to Australia three times.&#160; I just love it so much I keep getting pulled back!</li></ul><p>&#160;</p><p><em>Kelly Winters is the Assistant for Constituent Engagement with ELCA World Hunger. You can hear her friendly&#160;voice on the ELCA World Hunger telephone line. </em></p></div>11/18/2014Homelessness: A "Both, And" IssueGina Tonnhttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCAWorldHunger/637http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCAWorldHunger/637<div class="ExternalClass776EC68FBA2D4504A5067C2489A5364F"><p>​November 17, 2014</p><p>This week is national &quot;<a href="http&#58;//nationalhomeless.org/about-us/projects/awareness-week/"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week</span></a>.&quot;&#160; The recent arrests of several activists in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, over public outdoor meals served to people experiencing homelessness has brought homelessness to the fore of media coverage in recent weeks. &#160;This year, Fort Lauderdale passed a series of restrictions aimed at moving feeding sites indoors.&#160; These include requirements that all feeding sites have toilet facilities and that any feeding sites be located at least 500 feet away from each other.&#160; These new regulations were passed in response to residents' complaints about crowds of homeless people in public parks.&#160; <a href="http&#58;//www.nytimes.com/2014/11/13/us/florida-finds-tricky-balance-over-feeding-of-the-homeless.html?_r=0"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">The Fort Lauderdale's Women's Club was a particularly vocal supporter of the restrictions, telling Mayor Jack Seiler that the use of one park as a site for feeding people in need made it problematic for them to hold weddings and yoga classes.</span></a> </p><p>Fort Lauderdale is not alone in criminalizing the public provision of food to people facing hunger.&#160; In the spirit of raising &quot;awareness&quot; during &quot;Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week,&quot; I want to share with you some information about where restrictions on serving meals have been implemented and what the restrictions are.</p><p>The passage of laws making it more difficult, or even impossible, to serve public meals to people was first brought to my attention when my colleague shared this <a href="http&#58;//www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/10/22/357846415/more-cities-are-making-it-illegal-to-hand-out-food-to-the-homeless"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">article from National Public R</span></a><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">adio</span> with me. My interest was further piqued and motivation to put together this blog post heightened when, a few days later, the sidebar of my Facebook timeline informed me that the <a href="http&#58;//www.local10.com/news/police-charge-90yearold-man-2-pastors-with-feeding-the-homeless/29510268"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">arrests in Fort Lauderdale</span></a> were &quot;trending.&quot;</p><p>A report cited in the NPR article mentioned above, compiled by the <a href="http&#58;//nationalhomeless.org/"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">National Coalition for the Homeless</span></a> and just released in October called <a href="http&#58;//nationalhomeless.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Food-Sharing2014.pdf"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">&quot;Share No More&#58; The Criminalization of Efforts to Feed People in Need&quot;</span></a> provides an overview of laws enacted&#160; during 2013-2014 throughout the United States. These laws are categorized in several ways&#58; restrictions on public property use, food safety regulations and community actions to relocate food-sharing events. The report also notes cities that repealed laws of these sorts during the last year, and places that attempted to pass laws but failed. I invite you to read the report for yourself in order to gain a full understanding of the regulations at hand and investigate whether your community imposed or repealed any restrictions.</p><p>Looking ahead, homelessness promises to be an issue that continues to demand the attention of federal, state and local governments, as well as non-profit and social ministry organizations. Just last week, <a href="http&#58;//cmtysolutions.org/"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">Community Solutions</span></a>, a national organization whose tagline indicates their mission toward &quot;strengthening communities&quot; and &quot;ending homelessness&quot; <a href="http&#58;//cmtysolutions.org/press/community-solutions-announces-selection-67-communities-participate-zero-2016"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">announced a new campaign</span></a> to end veteran and chronic homelessness in the next two years. The campaign, called &quot;Zero&#58; 2016&quot; will launch in January 2015 in 67 communities across the country. Many of these communities, listed in the press release, overlap with the communities imposing restrictions on meal programs. The &quot;Zero&#58; 2016&quot; campaign is an attempt to accelerate housing efforts, connect people experiencing homelessness with available housing options and create public accountability around the issue of chronic homelessness. </p><p>ELCA World Hunger is a comprehensive approach to recognizing and fighting the root causes of poverty and hunger in our communities near and far. One takeaway from my time with the ELCA World Hunger team so far is that we are each a piece of a puzzle and all of the pieces are needed in order to make a dent in hunger and poverty. Yes, we need to change societal structure to eliminate homelessness through more accessible<em> </em>job programs, education and supportive housing, and more robust welfare programs. This is, in fact, the stated goal of many laws against feeding people who are homeless.&#160; Meals, some argue, create dependency and do little to help people gain access to long-term financial independence.&#160; </p><p>But we also need to support people who are suffering now. I believe we are called to be advocates of <em>both </em>serving meals to those who are hungry <em>and </em>finding ways to prevent hunger and homelessness moving forward. People who are hungry have a need for food, yet laws such as these are also borne out of need, such as residents' safety. What does it say about who is part of a community when some neighbors are treated as threats to safety or decorum? How are we called to balance different needs within a community?</p><p>&#160;</p><p><em>Gina Tonn is a Program Assistant for ELCA World Hunger through the Lutheran Volunteer Corps. </em></p><p>&#160;</p><p>&#160;</p></div>11/17/2014