Did you get enough to eat today?
I know I did. This afternoon alone I purchased lunch from a local restaurant and an organically grown peach from our church Mission Vegetable cart…and I had a cookie. Needless to say, I’m well-fed.
But that’s not true for everyone. Perhaps your initial mental image of a hungry person is that of a small child next to a hut somewhere in Africa. I know it is for me. But, as real as that picture of hunger is, it does not tell the whole story.
- 13% of people in the United States live in poverty.
- More than 14% of US households are hungry.
- 16.7 million children – that’s nearly one in four! – live in households that struggle to put food on the table.
Here in Illinois the situation is better than those national figures – but only slightly. Families in Illinois are struggling:
- 12.2% of people in Illinois live in poverty.
- 11.1% of IL households are hungry.
- SNAP (food stamps) participation increased 9.7% in the last year.
You may think tax policy should put you to sleep. But here’s why it is important:
- In 2009, the EITC lifted an estimated 6.6 million people, including 3.3 million children, above the poverty line.
- In 2009, the CTC lifted an estimated 2.3 million people, including 1.3 million children, above the poverty line.
These are the largest anti-poverty programs in our country! But 7 million low-income people could lose benefits if these tax credits expire. And that is why we’ll raise our voices and add them to thousands of other voices from around our state and our country calling on Congress to care for the most vulnerable of our neighbors.
On Sunday, August 22nd we, the people of the Woodridge United Methodist Church, are taking very specific action to combat hunger and its underlying cause, poverty.
In our worship gatherings we will partner with Bread for the World in creating an Offering of Letters. Our letters will implore our U.S. Representatives to help low-income families by making permanent the provisions in the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) that are set to expire this year.
So come to church on August 22, bring your compassion and your longing for justice for poor and hungry people…and bring a return address label. We’ll provide paper, pens, envelopes, and plenty more information and inspiration. Together we will live out the Gospel of Jesus. Together we will answer God’s call to seek justice for hungry and poor people everywhere.
Get a head start on your letter or find your Representative: http://www.offeringofletters.org/2010/act/contact-congress
Learn more about Offering of Letters and Bread for the World: http://www.offeringofletters.org/
To see the source for above US statistics: http://www.offeringofletters.org/2010/learn-more/facts