Friday, October 28, 2011

NCIC Stands with NCC, Congresswoman Lee and Fighting Poverty with Faith

Thursday, October 27, food stamp users gathered together with members of Congress, representatives of the Obama Administration, rabbis, priests, and reverends outside a Capitol Hill Safeway grocery store to kick off the Fighting Poverty with Faith (FPWF) Food Stamp Challenge.

NCC President Rev. Peg Chemberlin and other other faith leaders were joined by: White House Special Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett, Congresspersons Emmanuel Cleaver, Barbara Lee, Jan Schakowsky, Eleanor Holmes Norton, and Donna Christensen, as well as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Dr. Kathleen Merrigan. They broke into teams and joined a shopping experience guided by local food stamp recipients, using the national average weekly food stamp allotment: $31.50. The event closed with an interfaith sending forth prayer. 
This national Food Stamp Challenge kick-off event was the first of over 35 events nationwide planned by the 50 organizations that make up Fighting Poverty With Faith. 
A joint effort co-chaired by the National Council of Churches, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs and Catholic Charities, and involving 50 faith-based organizations, the Food Stamp Challenge is a component of Fighting Poverty with Faith's 2011 mobilization: "Working to End Hunger."
Click here to read more about the Food Stamp Challenge and sign up. (It's not too late!) You can also see whether there is a Fighting Poverty with Faith event happening near where you live. Finally, if you are a social media user, you can follow the action on Twitter at #foodstampchallenge or keep up with us on Facebook.

With Faith in an Abundant Future,

Michael Livingston
Director, National Council of Churches Poverty Initiative


For Immediate Release
October 27, 2011

Kristal DeKleer (202) 225-1882 or (202) 225-4783

Barbara Lee Joins Faith Leaders in Taking the Food Stamp Challenge 2011
Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) joined national faith leaders from the Fighting Poverty with Faith coalition, senior members of the Obama Administration, and many of her Democratic colleagues at a Washington, D.C. supermarket to announce the start of the Food Stamp Challenge 2011.
The Food Stamp Challenge is a nationwide event intended to preserve funding for vital nutrition benefits during a time of record poverty and unacceptably high unemployment.  Fighting Poverty with Faith challenges everyone to live for one week on the food budget of someone surviving on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, or what is commonly called, food stamps.
The average benefit for an entire month is $133.79, which works out to $4.50 a day or $1.50 a meal. Participants are being asked to limit their entire food budget for the week of October 27 to November 3 to $31.50.
“I am again taking part in this challenge because I believe that it is unconscionable to make cuts to programs that feed America’s poor and our nation’s children during the height of an economic crisis,” said Congresswoman Lee. “We must fight against any efforts to balance the budget on the backs of the most vulnerable Americans. I hope that everyone will consider joining the Food Stamp Challenge and joining the effort to end poverty in America.”
As co-chair of the Congressional Poverty Caucus, Congresswoman Lee plans to introduce legislation next month to cut poverty by half in ten years.  The bill would create an interagency working group tasked with developing and enacting a national plan to better coordinate anti-poverty and job creation programs.
Follow Barbara Lee on Twitter @RepBarbaraLee
Details on how you can participate can be found at:

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