Oregon Enews Dec 2008

December 11, 2008 at 8:33 am Leave a comment

 Greetings!
My name is Mike Hiland, I live in Sherwood, and am a local activist with Bread for the World. This is our monthly Oregon newsletter. Please check below for upcoming events and current action alerts and contact me if you have any questions or comments. I am available to speak to your church or group about the issue of hunger and the moral call to take action. Please also forward this to whomever might be interested. God bless and thanks for your time.


New Initiative : Small local letter writing groups

The purpose of these small groups is to encourage and empower more people to get involved in advocacy work right where they live in their community, and not rely on participation in large regional meetings that require travel and fixed inflexible meeting times. Groups of 3-15 people can meet monthly, stay informed, and take action on important issues. The idea is to create a group that meets your needs and time schedules. These groups can get topic ideas, suggestions and support from the local Bread for the World group and have a mechanism to contact other small groups and the regional group members as well. Here is the full article with more information about starting your own group…

We are also planning a large Offering of Letters workshop\ mini conference in early March, stay tuned for more information.

Announcement: Welcome Jessie Bullock !

The Bread West office would like to announce the welcome addition of Jessie Bullock our new administrative assistant.  Originally from Canada , Jessie lives in Vancouver , Washington with her husband, Brittian and two beautiful young sons, Ransom and Judah.  Jessie will be able to help with ordering of resources, answering questions and other various items.  Her greatest task though will be to organize the organizers.  Jessie’s email is jbullock@bread.org.  Her direct line is:  503-922-0044.  Jessie will work Monday through Wednesdays in the Portland office

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2009 Offering of Letters

We are preparing to launch the 2009 Offering of Letters on Reforming Foreign Aid in January.  Our 2009 Offering of Letters will urge Congress to rework U.S. foreign assistance to make it more effective in reducing poverty.  At a time of economic constraint, we have a long-awaited opportunity to make U.S. foreign assistance more effective and get more of our aid to people who really need it.  If foreign aid is fixed, more lives can be saved.  Fewer children will die of hunger.  Parents will be able to feed their families in the years to come.  Better foreign aid also means less waste.  We will be asking Congress to bring U.S. foreign assistance up to date and ensure that development is elevated as a national priority, alongside defense and diplomacy.

Bread for the World has had sent groups go to Ethiopia and Nicaragua to gather stories to create this year’s Offering of Letters DVD.  Recently David Beckman spoke about the hunger crisis and Foreign Assistance Reform on Voice of America.  You can listen here.  As well, there was a very good story on NPR’s All Thing’s Considered with about foreign aid and the next administration.  Listen here.   There are good background papers by Bread for the World policy analysts online (you might want to build a study group around these).

1.    Global Development:  Charting a New Course by Todd Post.

2.    Reforming Foreign Aid by Charles Uphaus

 

Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act – 2009 

Congress has a unique opportunity in the upcoming reauthorization of the child nutrition programs to improve access, meal quality and nutrition for millions of children, particularly low-income children in child care (the Child and Adult Care Food Program – CACFP), in school (breakfast and lunch programs), during out-of-school time (afterschool, on weekends and during the summer), and at home (the WIC Program).  Thousands of diverse national, state and local organizations are committed to a reauthorization bill that has a bold vision to eliminate child hunger.  As part of the national coalition working with other groups like FRAC (Food Research and Action Center ), Bread recently signed on to a national letter of a statement of principles that will guide the reauthorization efforts of the coalition.

The three main principles the coalition is asking Congress to include in the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act are:  

1)  assure and strengthen program access and support participation by underserved children and communities;

2)  enhance nutrition quality and provides adequate meal reimbursements; and

3)  modernize technology and simplify program administration and operation.

Bread for the World encourages your church to sign onto this joint statement of principles. Click here for the full version and to sign on: http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5118/petition.jsp?petition_KEY=184

2009 Hunger Report – Global Development: Charting a New Course

Bread for the World Institute has released the 2009 Hunger Report on an interactive web site (hard copies will be available later for purchase).  The Institute looks at four different key areas of policy in global development, hunger and poverty, reforming aid, and U.S. Poverty.  The website includes interviews of the writers, a companion study guide, and interactive maps and data.   There is a very good section on Foreign Aid Reform.

Other Updates

l     New 11th Congress will reconvene on January 6, 2009.  The first item on their agenda will be the economic stimulus package.  We are sending out a targeted action alert to those members in Appropriations and leadership asking them to increase SNAP (food stamp) benefit levels and funding for WIC and food banks in the stimulus package.  Congress is currently preparing the package so we want to make sure and have input before it goes to the floor for a vote.

l     Food stamp participation  and unemployment are on the rise:  USDA statistics released this month show food stamp participation at it’s highest levels ever with a record of 31.6 million American’s.  Department of Labor released statistics showing the national unemployment rate at 6.7%, the highest since 1993.

l     Food Insecurity Rates climb including a rise in child hunger in 2007:  The number of very low food secure children increased by over 60% in 2007.  Read “No Progress against Hunger” online.

 

David Beckmann to speak:

David will join PBS travel guru (and Bread Activist) Rick Steves at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle, Washington on Saturday, March 21 at Noon for a forum about the Millennium Development Goals. Stay tuned for more details…

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Small Local Bread letter writing groups Sisters of the Road – voices from the street (web database)

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