Bread western region Newsletter Sept 2008

September 4, 2008 at 4:21 am Leave a comment

Bread Western Region – serving Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

Included in this Newsletter:

Inspiration – new addition to start our feet on solid ground.
Spotlight:  Teaching kids about poverty.
September is Hispanic Heritage Month.
Legislative Update – The Global Poverty Act, Poverty-Focused Development Assistance, and more
New: Bread Election Action Team against Hunger 2008 (BEAT Hunger ’08)
Bread for the World Sunday – OCTOBER.
Need free Bread materials? Did you make a presentation during July? Let us know by filling out our survey
Where in the World are Matt and Robin?
Upcoming Events
Trivia Question – special Spanish Heritage Month edition. 

Inspiration:  Fools with Faith 

“All good things in the world come from fools with faith”


“One of my favorite old Hollywood films, often shown on television around Christmas, is a James Stewart black-and-white classic, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.  It is a kind of fairy-tale about a decent man in small town America, who in the pursuit of honesty and public concern is precipitated into politics and ends up in Washington, on the threshold of the White House.  One memorable line of dialogue has stuck in my mind: ‘All good things in the world come from fools with faith.’  The distinguished anthropologist Margaret Mead put the same thought in a slightly different way that challenges us to commitment, and also reassures us in our continuing quest for social and political change: ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world.  Indeed it is the only thing that ever has’.”


– Norman Shanks from This is the Day: Reading and meditations from the Iona Community


Greetings Western Region Bread Leaders,


September is here and the convention craziness is almost over and soon Congress will be back in D.C. for a few weeks.  Pray for their wisdom and selflessness for what will likely be the last session of the 110th Congress.  In the meantime, below is news from the Western Regional Bread office based in Portland.


Spotlight:  Teaching Children about Poverty:

There are many activities out there to help teach your Sunday School or youth group about poverty.  Here is one example and also a listing of other resources.  If you need any assistance or have an example of something you have done, let us know and we will pass it on.


Team Time: The Silent World of Girls – From Oprah Winfrey’s O’ Ambassadors site (all about millennium development goals).

Lead the following simulation with your students:

Split your class in two groups of equal size—one group will get to talk while the other group must remain quiet (flip a coin to decide). Each group must now arrange themselves in a line from oldest to youngest by birthday. The “talking group” is allowed to speak among themselves to complete their line. The “silent group” must form their line without making a sound. The group to complete their line first is the winner.

After the task, discuss how the activity made you feel. How was the task different for people in each group? Is it fair that one group was allowed to speak and one was not?

In the developing world, millions of girls don’t have the chance to go to school simply because they are girls. In some cases, those who are attending school don’t have the same learning opportunities as boys. Girls and women are more likely to suffer from poverty because they don’t get the education they need. Without an education, they are always at a disadvantage, just like the silent group was in the activity.

Now ask the group how they would feel if they were never allowed to talk in school. What if they never got the chance to go to school at all?

Other Helpful links for activities:

Church World Services PDF:  Making Poverty History:  Hunger Education Activities that Work.
Hunger No More – Resources for different age groups.  Great children’s activities link here.
Bread for the World’s Make Hunger History – it’s a little outdated on figures but has some good ideas and a puzzle.  Also a few ideas of activities here
Catholic Relief Services as a more youth oriented Food Fast which focuses on migration and additional resources can be found here.
Hunger Facts and games from the ELCA website.

September is SPANISH HERITAGE MONTH: Dr. Juan Martinez of Fuller Theological Seminary discusses the role of Latinos in hunger and poverty reduction in the latest edition of Breadcast.  Also on the breadcast how a bill becomes a law and an interview with Bread activist Elaine VanCleave who just got back from Zambia.





1) The Global Poverty Act (S. 2433):

After the Republican Convention this week, Congress will re-convene for a few weeks for what will likely be the final session of the 110th Congress. This means that September will likely be our last chance this year to pass the Global Poverty Act. We are still at 31 co-sponsors. During the August recess not much has changed and the Global Poverty Act still seems to be stymied by election year politics and the negative attacks in the blogosphere keep coming (click here for a fact sheet that sets the record straight) There is still an action alert on the website, and we pray that politicians in Washington D.C. will bring the bill to the floor this month for a vote. 


Next steps:

We are asking our members to continue to call their senators, write letters to the editor or op-eds in local newspapers (email Shawnda Hines if you need assistance on letters:  Keep looking for stories in your local paper that could tie into the Global Poverty Act.  If we have any breaking news about specific opportunities we have to weigh in, we will let you know immediately. 



2) Seeking a $5 billion increase for poverty-focused development assistance (PFDA) – where we are: 


Last month we reported that the federal appropriations process is in a holding pattern and nothing at this point has changed.  From all indications we are hearing, it looks like the FY 2008 appropriations bill, which is funded through September 30, would most likely be extended by a “continuing resolution” which would fund the government at current levels. We expect that a new set of appropriations bills will not be finalized until the new 111th Congress meets next year, at which time we will be pushing for a State/Foreign Ops Appropriation Bill with a $5 Billion increase to PFDA (timing looks like February or March at this point). We will update you if there are any changes or actions that can be taken during the short 3 week session in September when Congress meets for a final time.  In the meantime, if your newspaper runs a story you can link a letter-to-the editor to, it will be important to keep the pressure up in the interim for increased funding.




3) Other Updates:

US Census Bureau numbers released for 2007:  New Census data on poverty shows that there was a slight increase in U.S. poverty between 2006 and 2007 but David Beckmann, Bread’s president, cautions that the numbers name be misleading and do not take into account increased cost of living or the 2008 economic downturn.  You can link to specific data for your state through the Census Bureau’s site.
New Global Poverty Line – New data released by the World Banks estimates the number of poor around the world higher than originally estimated.  The new poverty line is $1.25 and thus the number of poor is estimated for 2005 at 1.4 billion.  See Bread for the World press release.
Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) – Bread for the World is part of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network, a coalition of international development experts working to modernize U.S. foreign assistance and to elevate global development.  For more information on MFAN and to read their New Day, New Way:  U.S. Foreign Assistance for the 21st Century report, please visit
New Bread for the World Institute Briefing Papers – More than Aid:  Partnership for Development provides policy analysis on trade, immigration and intellectual property rights. Reforming Foreign Aid  takes a look at how U.S. foreign policy could be more efficient and do a better job at responding to the Global Food Crisis.  Both are now online and available for download.  You can also read Robin’s latest blog post online about Reforming Foreign Aid and turning swords into ploughshares.
Global Hunger Crisis – Developing countries continue to be hit hard by the increased cost in basic grains globally.  In the past year global food prices have increased by roughly 43 percent.


BEAT Hunger ’08 (Bread Election Action Team against Hunger 2008).

We have just two months until election day! Make sure that candidates know that hunger and poverty are top moral priorities of their constituents by signing up for the Bread Election Action Team against Hunger, 2008 (Beat Hunger ’08). When candidates host town-hall meetings in your area, we’re asking them questions about their plans to reduce hunger and poverty at home and abroad. This is a simple yet very effective way to build relationships with members of Congress as well as to show them that if elected, they have a mandate to enact policies that are aimed at ending hunger and poverty.


Want to sign up or find out more information? Click here.



Bread for the World Sunday

October 19 or any Sunday of your choosing this fall, join Bread in celebration of the grace that God has bestowed upon us through worship focused on the theme of hunger and our call as Christians to respond during Bread for the World Sunday.  Free Resources are available through the website.  Be creative and bring your congregation or group together through a hunger awareness activity.  Hold a study group on the biblical basis for justice. Pray, Reflect, Educate and Advocate. 



If you helped lead a Bread event in August or if you need additional materials like brochures, please email Robin or Matt.



Upcoming Events: 


Festival of Faith:  Portland Oregon.  Sunday, October 26, 2008. 9:30 – 5:00. 


Save the Date: David Beckmann speaking at St. Andrew United Methodist Church in Littleton, Colorado on Friday, February 6. Stay tuned for more details!



What is going on in your neck of the woods?

Send us an email to tell us what is going on in your area?  We are particularly interested in hearing about how local communities are discussing / perceive the Hunger Crisis both at home and abroad.  Has that become a focus of your church community?  What activities have you planned in terms of action or education?  Do you have any suggestions for books on hunger or poverty that would be good for a book group?


Have you come up with any new organizing tips or tools you would like to share with us and other Bread leaders?  Email or call us.


Bread West Chapter Resources


Bread for the World National Website:

Bread for the World Oregon website: 

Bread for the World New Mexico website:

Both Matt and Robin are on Facebook and local chapters also have Facebook group sites you can join.


Bread for the World now has available the

new T-shirts with are current logo.  You can

order through the online store.


Also available are new tote bags, scroll pins

and lapel pens.




Trivia Question


Who was the first Latino governor ever elected in the United States?


Give up?  Click this link and scroll to the fifth person.











Robin Stephenson

Field Organizer


Bread for the World



0245 SW Bancroft St., Suite B

Portland, Oregon  97239

Direct:  503-922-0427

Toll Free:  888-752-7323 ext. 5


Entry filed under: Newsletters.

Make hunger an issue in this falls election, join Beat Hunger 2008 STUDENTS, SPONSORS INVITE PORTLANDERS TO ‘STAND UP’ AGAINST POVERTY

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

Recent Posts

Flickr Photos


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 34 other followers


%d bloggers like this: