Gutmann: The decisive and bipartisan majorities that supported its passage completed a crucial step to address the challenges faced by Americans nationwide who do not have enough food, or food of good nutrition, to eat.
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Washington, DC, May 19, 2008 – Welcoming the broad support in the Congressional votes on the Farm Bill Reauthorization, Dr. Cheryl Gutmann, Chair of the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
This Farm Bill significantly increases funding for crucial domestic anti-hunger programs. The decisive and bipartisan majorities that supported its passage completed a crucial step to address the challenges faced by Americans nationwide who do not have enough food, let alone nutritious food, to eat.
American values demand our action: Current food stamp benefits average only $1 per person per meal. Food pantries across the country have reported that their shelves are empty or their supplies are at historically low levels. Of the 35 million Americans regularly facing serious food insecurity, more than 10 million of them are children. This increased funding is not only about good public policy it is about justice, plain and simple – eating is not a luxury. No child should ever go to school on an empty stomach or fall asleep with hunger pains in a country blessed with abundant resources.
Jewish tradition demands our action as well. We read: “…when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap all the way to the edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger.”
We call on President Bush to sign the Farm Bill into law and take us one step closer to ending hunger in America.