for the World
more than 25 years of seeking justice for the world's hungry people,
Bread for the World is a Christian voice for ending hunger in the
for the World's 45,000 members contact their senators and representatives
about legislation that affects hungry people in the United States
and worldwide. We do not provide direct relief or development assistance.
Rather, we focus on using the power we have as citizens in a democracy
to support policies that address the root causes of hunger and poverty.
of local churches and community groups support Bread for the World's
efforts by writing letters to Congress and making financial gifts
to the organization. Bread for the World groups across the country
meet locally to pray, study and take action; members meet with their
representatives in Congress, organize telephone trees, win media coverage
and reach out to new churches.
for the World's partner organization, Bread for the World Institute,
carries out research and education on hunger. The Institute's annual
hunger report, for example, strengthens the anti-hunger movement through
analysis on the causes and solutions of hunger.
for the World is a nonpartisan organization whose members include
Republicans, Democrats and Independents. We are also supported by
45 denominations and many theological perspectives. Our board of directors
includes grassroots leaders, members of Congress, and leaders of churches
and charities. Bread for the World is the largest grassroots advocacy
network on hunger issues, and also accounts for most of the constituent
lobbying that is done in the United States on behalf of poor people
we're fighting against
MisconceptionsNearly half of U.S. voters believe that
either welfare or foreign aid is the biggest item in the federal budget.
In fact, nutrition programs and welfare together amount to only 3
percent of federal spending. Foreign aid takes up less than one percent
of the federal budget, and only a small portion of that is focused
on sustainable development and humanitarian assistance.
attacksMuch of Bread for the World's work recently has been
to resist attacks on these relatively inexpensive programs that help
poor people in the United States and worldwide. We are especially
focusing on protecting hungry children in the United States. While
some in Congress argue that churches and charities should be responsible
for this work, the fact of the matter is that they can't do it all.
The government must do its part to help. As individuals, Bread for
the World members may volunteer in social ministries and give to our
churches' hunger appeals. But we also know that a single decision
by Congress or the president can outweigh or multiply our contributions.
In October 1972, a small group of Catholics and Protestants met to
reflect on how persons of faith could be mobilized to influence U.S.
policies that address the causes of hunger. Under the leadership of
the Reverend Arthur Simon, the group began to test the idea in the
spring of 1973. By year's end, more than 500 people had joined the
ranks of Bread for the World as citizen advocates for hungry people.
This small group has grown to a nationwide movement of more than 45,000
members. In September 1991, the Reverend David Beckmann succeeded
Simon as president.