- About Hunger
- How to End Hunger
- Our Impact
- Get Involved
Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decisions makers to end hunger at home and abroad. Moved by God’s grace in Jesus Christ, we advocate for a world without hunger.
Bread members send letters and emails, make phone calls, and visit their members of Congress about legislation that addresses hunger in the U.S. and around the world. Bread equips its members to communicate with Congress and to work with others on advocacy. It educates members on hunger-related issues and inspires members to be legislative activists as a way of putting their Christian faith into action.
Bread works in partnership with churches, campuses, and other organizations to mobilize Christians and others in congressional districts and states.
Bread’s goal is to help end hunger by 2030. It believes that everyone must play a part in ending hunger, especially our federal government. We work to change the policies and conditions that allow hunger to persist. Bread seeks long-term solutions to hunger and advocates on legislation that addresses the root causes of hunger.
We have a track record of winning bipartisan legislation that helps hungry people feed their families. We are successful because our grassroots network of members and activists works in concert with national denominations, networks, and organizations supported by Bread’s staff in Washington, D.C., and around the country.
God’s grace moves us to build the political commitment needed to overcome hunger and poverty. We believe it is possible to end hunger in our time.
It’s better to build a fence at the top of a cliff than to have an ambulance at the bottom. And we were driving the ambulance all the time.
–Rev. Art Simon, Bread for the World’s founder and president emeritus
In the 1970s, Rev. Art Simon, the pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church on New York City’s Lower East Side, often found himself responding to emergency situations caused by hunger and poverty in his neighborhood.
Simon, along with a dozen other church leaders in the area — Roman Catholics, Presbyterians, and Lutherans — began meeting to explore how they might address the local and global root causes of hunger. They saw a place for Christians to try to prevent hunger from happening in the first place rather than just reacting to it. In 1974, this group founded Bread for the World with the mission of ending hunger in the world by speaking out to their elected officials in Washington, D.C.
From the very start, Bread has been a group effort. Its success has been made possible only because people of faith seized the opportunity to reach out to our nation’s decision makers for action against hunger.
“We began with a tiny seed of an idea, but the seed had life and, when planted, God gave growth,” recalls Simon.
Bread’s grassroots network was born with the launch of Project 500 — an effort to recruit and train 500 advocates. Many of those early advocates remain active Bread members today. And this network, which has grown exponentially since then, remains the engine of the organization.
Bread launched its first large-scale letter writing campaign, the Offering of Letters, in 1975 — on the right to food. Despite having fewer than 10,000 members at the time, Bread was able to generate more than 100,000 letters to Congress on this issue because its active members invited their fellow church members to participate.
The landmark Right to Food Resolution, passed overwhelmingly by Congress, states: “…the United States reaffirms the right of every person in this country and throughout the world to food and a nutritionally adequate diet.…”
Four decades later, this simple, brilliant idea — the Offering of Letters — remains one of Bread’s core organizing strategies. It is still Bread’s signature campaign and is an annual occurrence that Bread members look forward to every year.
Over the years, Bread’s Offering of Letters and other campaigns have won far-reaching changes for hungry and poor people. Bread’s members have written millions of letters to their members of Congress.
In 1991, Rev. David Beckmann succeeded Simon as president. Also a Lutheran pastor, Beckmann had worked for 15 years at the World Bank. Under his leadership, Bread has become increasingly more prominent, with a significantly bigger membership, budget, and staff.
Bread has also branched out over the years, establishing two affiliates:
"In the contemporary United States, few can rival the voice and energy of Bread for the World…”
Hunger and food insecurity add at least $160 billion a year to U.S. healthcare costs.
The federal McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program is named after former Senator George McGovern (D-SD) and former Senator Bob Dole (R-KS) for their long-...
By Marlysa D. Gamblin
Some people in the United States are at least twice as likely as the general U.S. population to be hungry and/or experiencing poverty. They belong to some of the country’s major demographic groups: African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, households led by...
A brief examination of the biblical approach to health as a hunger issue.
Includes an introduction to the issue, a Scriptural reflection, practical actions you can take, and a prayer.
In this issue: Another Great Year for Bread; Catholics Begin Observance of Holy Year of Mercy; Serving on ‘God’s Wave Length’ for 39 Years; and more.
A wide array of the nation’s faith leaders have come together on the eve of Pope Francis’ arrival in the United States to commit ourselves to encourage our communities to work for the end of hunger by 2030 and, toward that end, for a shift in U.S. national priorities.
We are deeply pleased...
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.
Over the past year and a half, about two-dozen young adults from the United States and countries in Africa and the Caribbean, have gathered virtually and in person to reflect on the effects of hunger and poverty in black communities. The working group has been considering socio-political and...
The bill under consideration, the American Health Care Act, would gut...