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What People Are Saying About The Fast

I am thrilled to see that Ambassador Hall continues his work as a voice for the hungry and poor. I supported his fearless efforts in 1993 and I continue to applaud his diligence in this important fight. In our plentiful country, it’s unacceptable that there are Americans - particularly children – that are not getting the food and nutrition they need. As the spokesperson for Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign, I believe we must do everything we can to protect our most vulnerable population from the fear of hunger and poverty.

- Jeff Bridges, Academy Award Winner, National Spokesperson for Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign

 

Ambassador Hall is drawing attention to one of the most urgent issues of our day. Churches have an opportunity to be involved in the transformation of lives and communities like never before. Let’s take advantage of this kairos moment.

- Andrew Ryskamp, Director, Christian Reformed World Relief Committee

 

One of the major challenges of our generation is the challenge of ending hunger. We are fasting because we believe we as a nation can do better to address poverty and hunger disparity. Doing nothing is not an option!

- Rev. Gabriel Salguero, President, National Latino Evangelical Coalition

 

In 1993, as a Member of Congress, I went on a 22 day fast to protest the lack of conscience of the U.S. Congress towards poor and hungry people. Now, almost twenty years later, the stakes are even higher, with Congress proposing budget cuts that will hurt vulnerable people even more than the cuts provoking me to fasting and prayer two decades ago.

- Ambassador Tony P. Hall, Retired Congressman and Executive Director, Alliance to End Hunger

 

These proposed cuts cross a moral line. We are moving from neglecting the poor to targeting the poor. Theologically, this is an assault against the very people God specifically instructs faithful people to protect, and whose well-being is the biblical test of a nation’s righteousness.

- Jim Wallis, President and CEO, Sojourners

 

The debate about the federal deficit is really a debate about national priorities. We invite God to reshape our personal priorities and the priorities of our nation. We hope our fast will help draw public attention to threatened cuts to programs that help hungry and poor people.

- Rev. David Beckmann, President, Bread for the World and Bread for the World Institute

 

I’m fasting to protest the injustice of reducing food aid by 41 percent and reducing support for agricultural development,” said American Jewish World Service (AJWS) president Ruth Messinger. “The timing couldn’t be worse: skyrocketing food prices are currently driving tens of millions of people in the developing world into poverty.

- Ruth Messinger, President of American Jewish World Service (AJWS)

 

Seven in ten of the world’s hungry are women, who are also responsible for ensuring that their families are fed. As someone who has tried to live on a dollar a day myself in some of the world’s poorest areas, I have experienced a little of what they struggle with every day.  It is essential for our lawmakers not to slash budgets that invest in the sustainability of global food supplies when food prices and hunger are both at all-time highs.

- Ritu Sharma, Co Founder and President of Women Thrive Worldwide

 

In Islam, freedom from hunger is something so basic it is linked to people’s relationship with their creator. The Quran says, “So let them serve the Lord, who feeds them against hunger and gives them security against fear.”

- Abed Ayub, CEO, Islamic Relief USA

 

We are fasting with Tony Hall on March 28th to remind people of the tremendous hunger and poverty that exists in the world, even today. But we are doing it also to show solidarity with Ambassador Hall and to show that for us to be truly committed to ending hunger we have to experience it. This pales in comparison to the hunger that millions suffer every day around the world, but it’s a symbolic—and an important—statement we all must make. We are all part of the solution, so we all have to do our part. Along with Jo Luck’s, Martha Hirpa’s and my work with Heifer, this is our part.

- Pierre Ferrari, CEO , Heifer Project International

 

As bible believing Christians we stand committed not to the agenda of the donkey or the elephant but rather we must stand exclusively committed to the agenda of the Lamb. As a result, we call upon all people of faith to join us as we fast for God to move our elected officials to incorporate a righteousness and justice lens as they deliberate over budgetary decisions. Decisions that at the end of day will bring good news to the poor and hungry or greater despair to the least of them.

- Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference

 

When I took the food stamp challenge a few years ago living on $21.00 for a week of food, I felt the utter dullness that comes from hunger. One may survive but survival is not necessarily a life that feels and dreams. We speak out now because our hearts weep for those whose lives are shaped by the pain and tragedy of hungry stomachs. As hunger lives, we must shout out that this is not okay. The JCPA will fight with our brother and sister organizations and with the common decency that defines this country and the Jewish tradition to stop this outrage on the human conscience with all the tools and all the energy we can muster.

- Rabbi Steve Gutow, President and CEO, Jewish Council for Public Affairs

 

While fasting during the month of Ramadan is one of the pillars of our faith, Islam, we are encouraged to fast on other days during the year to reinforce our solidarity with those who starve because they cannot afford to eat. This sense of solidarity and commiseration with the poor and hungry is the essence of being faithful, and it should prompt us to take action to mitigate the suffering of others.

- Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed, National Director, Office for Interfaith and Community Alliances, Islamic Society of North America

 

Ambassador Hall has been a champion for the poor and hungry his entire career, and I commend his most recent act to bear witness to their struggle.  During these tough fiscal times, we all need to take action to ensure that programs for the voiceless in our society, particularly hungry children, are protected.  Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign reflects our shared commitment to safeguarding programs that are proven to fight poverty as a down payment on our future health and wealth as a nation.

- Billy Shore, Founder & Executive Director, Share Our Strength

 

Inspired by Jesus’ command to care for impoverished and hungry people, we join together with allies across the country to call for budget priorities that affirm the Biblical truth that there is enough for all.

- Rev. Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA)

 

Poor and hungry people around the world and here at home have a lifelong and unwavering ally in my good friend and colleague, Tony Hall.  He could not have chosen a better time for a courageous fast than the present moment, when Congress is considering budget cuts that would eliminate food aid, nutrition assistance and agricultural development programs for more than 30 million of the world’s hungriest people.  As rising food prices push millions more into hunger and poverty, providing a spark for riots and instability across the Middle East and Northern Africa, cuts to our global hunger programs will also threaten our national security.  The United States has been steadfast in its commitment to addressing global hunger for decades — I hope that Tony’s act will inspire millions of people across the country to tell their Members of Congress that this longstanding bipartisan support should continue.

- Rick Leach, President and CEO, World Food Program USA

 

This is a defining moment in our country, when forces of money and power seek to protect themselves by cutting programs geared for our most vulnerable people. We come together in faith that the Spirit of God will breathe over this chaos and lead us to the responsible way to strengthen our communities.

- Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, Executive Director, NETWORK, A Catholic Social Justice Lobby

 

Even in tough times America remains a nation of abundance.  How we care for ”the least of these” in our own land says more about us as a nation and a people than anything else we do.  What are we saying when we help those in poverty less at the precise time when they need help most?

- Steven M. Waldmann, Executive Director, Society of St. Andrew

 

Opportunity International is honored to stand in prayer and fasting with our dear friend, Ambassador Tony Hall. He reminds us that we must begin this work by examining our own hearts, and that together we can bring an end to poverty.

- Bill Morgenstern, CEO, Opportunity International

 

Jacques Diouf, Director-General of Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, who fasted himself in November 2009 before the World Summit on Food Security, supports Mr. Hall’s initiative: “I hope that this gesture may help achieve our goal of reducing the number of people around the world suffering from hunger and the number of children - now one every six seconds - dying of hunger or related diseases.”

- Jacques Diouf, Director-General of the  UN Food and Agriculture Organization

 

We are proud to support Ambassador Hall’s Hunger Fast.  With world food prices at an all-time high, now is not the time to gut programs like Feed the Future and the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program that invest in long-term solutions by helping farmers in poor countries to be more productive.

- Peter O’Driscoll, Executive Director of ActionAid USA

 

FRAC supports the efforts of Ambassador Hall and others to call attention to the serious problem of hunger and the outrageous threats to important safety net programs that work.

- Jim Weill, President, Food Research and Action Center

 

I once asked Senator Bob Dole what was the primary role of the churches in feeding the hungry.  To my surprise, he said, “The church must lobby Congress, as they are the voice of the hungry voiceless in America and around the world.”

- Donald E. Messer, Executive Director, Center for the Church and Global AIDS, and co-author with George McGovern and Bob Dole of “Ending Hunger Now:  A Challenge to Persons of Faith” (Fortress, 2005)

 

The Community Food Security Coalition endorses this effort to draw attention to the impact of proposed federal budget cuts on low-income people. Slashing the social safety net in these fragile economic times would increase hunger and hardship, and cutting off investments in community-based solutions could derail the recovery and inhibit the development of self-reliant, sustainable communities and economies.

- Andy Fisher, Executive Director, Community Food Security Coalition

 

Our nation’s capacity for shared progress is now threatened by an extreme and narrow vision that is fed by fear.  The Coalition on Human Needs is committed to heed and join Tony Hall’s call to conscience, to show that this country has the means and the will to advance security and opportunity for all.

- Deborah Weinstein, Executive Director, Coalition on Human Needs

 

The National Farmers Union applauds the moral leadership of Ambassador Tony Hall as he stands up for millions of desperately hungry families. Our country, the richest in the world, should not walk away from these men, women, and children.

- Roger Johnson, President, National Farmers Union

 

The Congressional Hunger Center (CHC) urges Congress and the Obama Administration to join together in a bi-partisan White House Conference on Food and Nutrition to address the needs of poor and hungry people in the U.S. and around the world.  CHC was born out of Tony Hall’s first fast in 1993, and is a bi-partisan, non-profit leadership development organization that has produced over 500 anti-hunger leaders; we are proud to join him again in the Hunger Fast 2011 to create positive change and promote a food secure world.

- Edward M. Cooney & Margaret M. Zeigler, The Congressional Hunger Center (CHC)

 

The Franciscan Action Network (FAN) is honored to join Tony Hall and hungerfast.org in prayer and fasting, following the teachings of Jesus as shown by the example of St. Francis and St. Clare, to help form a Circle of Protection around programs affecting the most vulnerable of Gods children. FAN is a network of U.S.-based ministries, institutions and persons committed to building a society rooted in justice, peace and care for all of creation according to the spiritual and social movement of St. Francis and St. Clare.

- Patrick Carolan, Executive Director, Franciscan Action Network

 

I  am deeply supportive of Tony and his fast.  Rash actions based on rhetoric like slashing budgets no longer serves or advances our very complex country or world.  Now more than ever, we need to restore mindful consideration, collaboration and cooperation in our government, businesses and communities locally and globally. In a world that is actually abundant with food there is no excuse for people to be dying daily of malnourishment or going to school unable to learn due to hunger. We can fix this– we just need the will and the focus. Thank you Tony for forcing us to focus.

- Patti Marshman-Goldblatt, Founder & CEO, CauseConnections

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