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By Michele Learner
Sometimes a quotation is so familiar that I do not focus on it every time I see it. But occasionally, I feel that I’m reading it for the first time—or at least, that I am grasping its meaning and its implications more clearly.
This happened recently when I read the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. quote, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Given all the inequities in the country and in the world, this is a radical statement—one that explains very clearly the need for everyone to keep working for justice.
As we know, this year the United States is celebrating King’s birthday and Black History Month in the midst of an unabated global pandemic. At this writing, COVID-19 has infected more than 100 million people worldwide and killed more than 475,000 Americans. But there are definite signs of hope with the development of effective vaccines and improving, though still slow, vaccine distribution in wealthier countries.
Congress is now working to pass an additional, much-needed COVID-19 relief bill, and Bread for the World is strongly advocating for provisions to provide prompt assistance to the millions of people in the U.S. who continue to face hunger—particularly children of color.
Bread has emphasized for several years now that racial equity is absolutely essential to ending hunger in our country. But we know all too well how far the U.S. remains from achieving equity for all. See our recent blog post for more on equity and COVID-19, particularly on vaccine access. In the case of a highly infectious virus, of course, no one is safe until everyone is safe.
But returning to signs of hope, the Justice for Black Farmers Act has just been introduced in the Senate, as we also discuss in a recent piece. Past and present discrimination has been a major factor in creating the racial wealth gap that affects Black people today, whether or not they, their grandparents, or other family members were ever farmers.
And, of course, anything that affects today’s farmers affects the food system that feeds nearly everyone in this country and many people in food-importing countries. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
The second in our series of posts on fragility focuses on Syria and Lebanon. The Syrian civil war, spurred originally by authoritarian rule and repression, drought, and competition for scarce resources, has created ripple effects all over the world and forced millions of people into hunger. Earlier injustices lead to more and larger injustices.
As winter begins to wane, I hope each of us can stay safe, keep others safe, and, whenever possible, work toward justice, whether our opportunity is in a local community or a country far away.
Michele Learner is managing editor with Bread for the World Institute.
As we know, this year the United States is celebrating King’s birthday and Black History Month in the midst of an unabated global pandemic.
Afghanistan would be considered likely to have high rates of hunger because at least two of the major causes of global hunger affect it—armed conflict and fragile governmental institutions.
Malnutrition is responsible for nearly half of all preventable deaths among children under 5. Every year, the world loses hundreds of thousands of young children and babies to hunger-related causes.
Bread for the World is calling on the Biden-Harris administration and Congress to build a better 1,000-Days infrastructure in the United States.
“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in faith.” These words from Colossians 2:6 remind us of the faith that is active in love for our neighbors.
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The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is designed to respond to changes in need, making it well suited to respond to crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bread for the World and its partners are asking Congress to provide $200 million for global nutrition.
In 2017, 11.8 percent of households in the U.S.—40 million people—were food-insecure, meaning that they were unsure at some point during the year about how they would provide for their next meal.