For Such a Time as This: A Call to Prayer, Fasting, and Advocacy

On the 21st of each month, faith leaders from across the United States, including the heads of many Christian denominations, give up a meal or fast and pray for the day, calling on God to help end hunger. Although we live in challenging times, the world has made unprecedented progress against hunger and poverty since 1990. If we do our part, it is possible to end hunger by 2030. But the priorities of President Trump and Congress could reverse this trend.

Deep cuts to effective foreign assistance programs come at a time when famine is on the rise in South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia, and Yemen and 20 million people are at risk of death. Plans to restructure Medicaid would limit access to health care for struggling families for decades to come, forcing families to choose between food and health care.

While this is an unprecedented moment, it is for such a time as this that we are called. And so, we invite you to join us in deepening your spiritual engagement through prayer and fasting as a way to strengthen and sustain advocacy efforts during the 115th Congress.

Join the movement. Take the pledge today.

Join the Movement to …

  • pray that our country can stay on track and do its part to end hunger by 2030.
  • develop a spiritual practice of self-deprivation, or fasting, to prepare for and strengthen advocacy efforts with Congress.
  • advocate by writing letters and emails, making phone calls, and visiting with your members of Congress.

Take the Pledge

You can also join us by texting FAST to 738-674. Message and data rates may apply.

We follow the example of Esther in the Hebrew Scriptures who risked her life to save the Jewish people in the Persian Empire. Three days before she was to approach the king, she asked the Jewish people throughout the region to fast for three days in preparation for her meeting. Today, there are people around the world who are poor and hungry. And they are vulnerable to famine, to deportation, to losing access to food and health care if our elected leaders succeed in their efforts to cut vital programs.

How will we fast? On May 21, we began with a 3-day fast, joining millions of people around the world who were praying for an end to famine, praying in advance of the release of the president’s budget, and in preparation for advocacy actions. We continue to fast and pray on the 21st of each month throughout this 115th Congress through the end of 2018. We chose the 21st of the month because that is the day when SNAP (formerly food stamps) benefits for most families run out. It is the hungriest week of the month.

Join the movement. Take the pledge today.

How to Get Involved

Resources for your Fast

We have prepared a Fasting Guide that will help you to discern how you will fast, to prepare you for your fast, and to get your community involved.

A Social Media Kit is also available for those who want to let others know about our time of prayer and fasting.

If you’d like to receive text message reminders about the monthly fast and other campaign alerts, text Fast to 738-674. Message and data rates may apply.

Advocate to end hunger

During your fast, you may discern that you want to take action. While you will receive regular email and/or text updates about when to act in the most strategic manner, you can always visit our Activist Corner to read more about the issues we are advocating for and find tools for taking action.

Partners in the Movement

David Beckmann, president, Bread for the World

Arturo Chavez, president & CEO, Mexican American Catholic College

Most Reverend Michael Bruce Curry, presiding bishop and primate, Episcopal Church

The Rev. Elizabeth Eaton, presiding bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Ambassador Tony Hall, executive director emeritus, Alliance to End Hunger

Lynne Hybels, co-founder of Willow Creek Community Church

Anwar Khan, CEO, Islamic Relief USA

Rev. Carlos Malavé, executive director, Christian Churches Together in the USA

Most Reverend Richard E. Pates, Roman Catholic Bishop of Des Moines

Senior Bishop Lawrence Reddick, presiding bishop, Christian Methodist Episcopal Church

Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner, co-chair, National African American Clergy Network

Rev. Jim Wallis, president, Sojourners

Selected Media Coverage

"For if you keep silence at
such a time as this ..."

— Esther 4:14

from our Resource Library

For Education

  • Feed the Future

    Feed the Future, launched in 2010, grew out of the U.S. response, led by President George W. Bush, to the 2007-2008 global food price crisis. Prices of basic foods doubled or tripled in some countries and pushed an additional 150 million people into hunger and malnutrition.

  • U.S. Hunger and Poverty State Fact Sheets

    These fact sheets provide a snapshot of hunger and poverty in the United States and in each state plus Washington, D.C. 

  • Hunger and Poverty in the African-American Community

    While hunger declined from 2017 for the general U.S. population, African Americans experienced a one percent increase, an increase of 153,000 African American households.

For Faith

  • Unity Declaration on Racism and Poverty

    A diverse body of Christian leaders calls on the churches and Congress to focus on the integral connection.

    Dear Members of Congress,

    As the president and Congress are preparing their plans for this year, almost 100 church leaders—from all the families of U.S. Christianity—are...

  • In Times Like These … A Pan-African Christian Devotional for Public Policy Engagement

    This devotional guide invites deepened relationship with and among Pan-Af­rican people and elected leaders in the mission to end hunger and poverty.

  • Sermon by David Beckmann at Duke University Chapel

    Remarks delivered October 1, 2017 at Duke University Chapel in Chapel Hill in North Carolina.

    Thank you for inviting me to preach here at Duke University Chapel. And I especially want to thank the Bread for the World members who have come this morning.

    Bruce Puckett urged...

For Advocacy

  • Grassroots Advocacy Toolkit

    A set of how-to sheets for carrying out advocacy and fact sheets on the current issues Bread for the World is working on.

    For new and current Bread grassroots hunger activists.

    Ideal as a starter toolkit for new Bread activists or as a set of updates for current activists.


  • U.S. Hunger and Poverty State Fact Sheets

    These fact sheets provide a snapshot of hunger and poverty in the United States and in each state plus Washington, D.C. 

  • Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2017

    Unnecessarily long prison sentences, combined with the lack of rehabilitative programs for people in prison, exacerbate hunger, poverty, and existing inequalities.

    Overly harsh mandatory minimum prison sentences have contributed to the rapid increase of our country’s prison population. The...


Changing Climate, Changing Farmers

February 7, 2017


The Jobs Challenge

April 10, 2018

From the Blog