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但他賜更多的恩典,所以經上說:神阻擋驕傲的人,賜恩給謙卑的人。
雅各書4:6



 
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14 MILLION U.S. CHILDREN WILL GO HUNGRY THIS WEEK

by Sunita Sohrabji | Sep 15, 2020 | COVID-19
9/15/2020


By SUNITA SOHRABJI/EMS Contributing Editor

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically heightened ongoing food insecurity: 14 million U.S. children will go hungry in any given week, and parents are increasingly skipping meals for several days, in order to feed their children.

5.5 million elderly people are also struggling to find sufficient food in the world’s wealthiest country.

Pre-pandemic, 37 million people, including two million children, chronically suffered from food insecurity. Over the past five months, as U.S. unemployment levels hit highs of 11 to 16 percent, 54 million people are now facing chronic hunger. Food banks and pantries aiming to fill the gaps often find themselves short of food. They are faced with the additional challenge of developing novel ways to distribute food as much of the nation still remains under stay-at-home orders.

People of color, including Blacks and Native Americans, are suffering from hunger at two and a half times the rate of Whites, said Ami McReynolds, Chief Equity and Programs Officer at Feeding America, a nationwide network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries.
“The pandemic has caused a higher demand for food, and there is a lot less food, and fewer places which offer it,” said McReynolds, speaking at an Aug. 28 briefing organized by Ethnic Media Services. She said that hunger was particularly prevalent in Southern states and on Native American reservations.

Other speakers at the briefing were Rev. David Beckmann, president emeritus of Bread for the World, who received the World Food Prize in 2010; and Jovanna Lopez, founder of The People’s Night Market in San Antonio, Texas.

Redlining, which McReynolds described as a tool for perpetuating systemic racism, keeps low-income people of color in poorer neighborhoods, and food deserts with a lack grocery stores. A lack of public transportation in such neighborhoods denies people the ability to access fresh, nutritious food, she said.

Sadly, some of the people now in line for groceries at food banks and pantries were once volunteers and donors, said McReynolds, noting that food insecurity has cut through the middle class during the pandemic.

Federal programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Women, Infants, and Children must be expanded during the pandemic and beyond, she said, urging people to call their congressional representatives to advocate for the programs.

The Trump administration’s implementation of its public charge rule has had a chilling effect on food insecurity, said Beckmann, of Bread for the World. Public charge denies permanent residency to immigrants who have received any form of federal aid. While the rule does not factor in programs like school lunches, which are federally funded, many immigrants have nonetheless dis-enrolled from those benefits, fearing they will be denied permanent residency.

“A lot of people don’t know what counts and what doesn’t, so they would rather not do anything, not even get help from food banks,” said Beckmann. He advocated for a path to citizenship for undocumented people, who receive no federal assistance, and are thus the most vulnerable to chronic hunger.

Increasing SNAP and WIC benefits will yield fruit in 3 to 4 years, he said, echoing McReynolds in the need to promote economic recovery during and after the pandemic.

“The progress against poverty is something that will not end just by giving hungry people food. What needs to happen is for people to be able to earn, to get food.” said Beckmann, voicing the need to invest in opportunities for black people, to generate good jobs and income.

Poverty and hunger could be eliminated in as few as eight years, he said, if lawmakers put their minds to resolving the twin crises.

“People don’t know the scale of this. Even when we know it, we simply say, ‘Oh well, that’s happening to them, not us.’ It is a spiritual problem; I don’t think we care enough,” said Beckmann.

Lopez, of the People’s Night Market in San Antonio, said she started her initiative in 2015, when she found that local food banks were giving out food that was already spoiled. “This was not healthy for our Native, Black and Latin communities,” she said, adding that the only farmer’s market in town was rather ritzy and did not take food stamps.

“That’s when we realized we had to come up with something else for the community to get access to fresh fruits and vegetables, because we definitely didn’t have anything like that being done,” said Lopez.

The People’s Night Market is a grassroots effort relying solely on donations of “a dollar here, a dollar there,” according to Lopez. As the pandemic hit the U.S., the young activist and her team were able to secure $600,000 to be able to feed 150,000 families.

Their efforts often fall short. “Sometimes there are a lot of people that we have to turn away because we run out of food. That makes us really sad. Our local government wasn’t prepared for this and neither was our food bank,” she said.

Lopez has been working to develop community gardens, which would allow people to grow their own fresh food. She has one four-acre plot of land, which the city has leased to her for $1 per year. Expanding the program has been challenging, she said, noting that even small plots can cost upwards of $20,000, a daunting sum for a grassroots initiative.


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本目錄中最多閱覽的文章

朱易 : 馬鞍峰教會的增長及其深遠影響 (1) 
許多前來參加每年一次牧師研討會的牧師感到(2003年人數達到二十五萬之多),他們正經歷著一場由華理克牧師主導的改革運動,他們好像又回到了激動人心的馬丁路德改教運動的時代,不同的是他們可以與領導今天這場改革的領袖相遇和交談。

華理克牧師認為馬丁路德時代的改革是讓教會清楚教會所相信的是什麼,這也是我們今天還在傳講的資訊和教義,而今天的改革是讓教會清楚教會要做什麼


第二次宗教改革的呼聲 
新興教會的運動是教會的第二次宗教改革, 它將徹底改寫教會歷史, 並開創全新的教會時代.

朱易 : 馬鞍峰教會的增長模式和教會市場法的危機 (1) 
除了“目標導向”的增長公式,許多牧師認為華理克牧師還有增長的秘訣,但華理克牧師認為他的增長策略其實是十分簡單,歸納起來只有三條.

不少學者持懷疑的態度, 他們認為“目標導向”不過是將傳統的基督教原則作了不同的包裝。




《断背山》风头正健,价值观江河日下 (1) 
对基督徒而言,这部影片只不过是一个用艺术包装起来的同性恋合理的说教。但这一次,基督徒却无法用忽略它的存在的方式来反击它,他们必须寻找新的方法来坚守传统的战线。


朱易: 他的正面思維影響了全世界 (1) 
但是斯凱勒在教會界配受尊重,除了他在教堂的建造上獨樹一幟外,他的人品和神學上也頗為出色。他是少數幾個沒有醜聞的電視布道家之一,而讓他成為非主流教會和許多基督徒仿效的對象的原因是,他的講道著重正面信息,用正面思維看問題。


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