Christian Leaders Tell Congress that Feeding the Hungry is not the Sole Responsibility of the Church

Apr 24, 2012, 16:23 ET from Bread for the World

WASHINGTON, April 24, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a news release by Bread for the World:

What:  The lines at local church-run food pantries could be getting a lot longer if some members of Congress get their way. The House of Representatives recently proposed to cut more than $169 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps). Some representatives argued that feeding hungry people is really the work of the churches. "America's churches are already doing their fair share," said Sister Margaret Mary Kimmins, OSF, of Bread for the World. "We challenge our fellow pastors and their congregations to tell Congress, 'No more cuts because they only hurt poor people.'"

"It would be devastating if our church had to do more than we already do," said Rev. Barb Hobe, pastor of Bethany United Church of Christ in Lebanon, OH. "Many of our members are living paycheck to paycheck and just can't do more."

During this teleconference, religious leaders will discuss the impact these House proposed cuts will have on local congregations.

When: Thursday, April 26, 2012
1:00 to 2:00 p.m. EDT. Call (877) 419-7892, Confirmation Code: 869537#

Who: Speakers will include Rev. Barb Hobe, Bethany United Church of Christ (Lebanon, OH); Rev. Adan Mairena, West Kensington Ministry (Philadelphia, PA); Bishop Ervin Sims, Jr., Prelate, Republic of Ghana Jurisdiction (Kansas City, KS); and Sister Margaret Mary Kimmins, OSF, Bread for the World.   

Why: Some Congressional leaders are essentially saying that every church across America — big or tiny — needs to come up with an extra $50,000 dedicated to feeding people — every year for the next 10 years — to make up for these cuts. The Hartford Institute for Religion and Research estimates there are 335,000 religious congregations in the United States. If the proposals by the House of Representatives to cut SNAP by $133.5 billion and $36 billion are enacted, each congregation will have to spend approximately $50,000 more annually to feed those who would see a reduction or loss of benefits.

More than 46 million Americans depend on SNAP to help put food on their tables every day. SNAP has prevented our nation's economic crisis from turning into a hunger crisis. Congress must not turn its back on our nation's commitment to protect vulnerable people from hunger.

Bread for the World ( is a collective Christian voice urging our nation's decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.

SOURCE Bread for the World