Hunger Action Forum Wrapup

March 11, 2009 at 7:55 pm Leave a comment

The forum went well, special thanks to St Luke’s for hosting us. The event started with Matt and Robin detailing the Offering of letters issue for the year whihc covers the reform of foreign aid. Matt conducted a game of jeapardy with us asking foreign aid related questions, breaking the group into three teams. It was amazing to see just how convoluted and complex foreign aid has become over the years with no overarching coordination and administration.

Robin then delved into the details of the foreign aid issue and what we hope to accomplish. This year we are not focusing on a specific bill but pushing for an overall reform. The sample letter with thus be changing almost monthly depending on where we are in the process. There will be a need to write repeated letters this year as reform winds through th different committees. This may also end up being a multi-year campaign.

Matt did a PBS pledge week style tally of the people from the various churches and how many letters they think they can generate from their events. We got a tally of over 500 letters. A few of the events will be held in the next few weeks and I will be speaking at one of the churches.

We then had a great lunch of soup, muffins, bread and fruit. It allowed us to talk more ask questions and share ideas. Thanks to …

After lunch we had three workshops people could choose from:

Reauthorization of the Child Nutrition programs, Jessica Chanay from the Oregon Hunger Relief Task Force came and gave us an update of what is happening in congress on this issue. Bread is following this issue as well and will be sending out action alerts when needed. I will also be genrating a sample letter on our small groups page for groups who want to devote their monthly hunger action meeting on it.

Robin did a presentating on the Biblical Basis of Hunger. There was a lively discussion around our call to action and how we can build a greater recognition of it inside our churches.

Matt covered advocacy in more detail. The three pillars of citizen advocacy are letters, legislative staff office vists and media advocacy (letters to the editor and editorial board vists). Putting the three together multiplies the impact that you can have. We discussed potetial meetings with our regional papers and representatives.

I also covered the small group concept. We are planning on holding hour long monthly meetings at various locations around the metro area (many during the weekday lunch hour). Giving people the chance to participate closer to home and fitting in better with hectic schedules. More information to come.

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World Water Day Walk-a-thon 3/22 Action Alert: Stop cuts to foreign aid budget

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