August 18, 2009

The Power of Interfaith Hunger Advocacy

By Sarah Steinberg
The power of interfaith photo

The power of interfaith photo

Courtesy MAZON grantee Hunger Task Force (Milwaukee –


I have just returned from keynoting a speech at a conference sponsored by the Wisconsin Council of Churches. It was held at a rustic retreat center on beautiful Lake Geneva in Williams Bay (about an hour from Milwaukee). The theme of the interfaith conference was “The Earth Speaks: Hunger, Our Spiritual Challenge”. My speech pertained to the need for people of faith to do more than provide ‘charity’ (as all our scriptures command us to do), but simultaneously move to do ‘justice’ (which indeed brings us into the realm of advocacy and public policy, and is also a keep commandment to right a broken world).

I was very impressed with the passion of these folks, the depth of their commitment to end hunger and the keen awareness to become the ‘voice-of-the-voiceless’ when it comes to ending hunger. They came from all over the state. They sang spiritual songs together, prayed for empowerment and were given intensive training on the role congregations can do in their communities. I was very impressed with their “study-action guide” they developed titled: Hunger on Our Doorstep.  What is amazing to me is to see how the power of faith can be unified for a common goal, and one that we all agree upon: that hunger is a scandal and its solution is one of political will.