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National Black Church Initiative Pledges to Feed an Additional 100,000 Families in 2012 Due to the Economic Crisis

$6 million is needed to achieve this goal.

Washington, DC – The National Black Church Initiative (NBCI), a coalition of 34,000 churches across the United States, is pledging to feed an additional 100,000 families in 2012. This new commitment comes as a result of the Bread for the World’s 2010 Hunger Report, which shows that 49.1 million Americans struggle to put food on the table on a daily basis. This surge in hunger has been caused by the economic downturn and it is NBCI’s belief that no economic recovery will be stable without first supporting families and children in the greatest need. The study came back with some shocking numbers about hunger and poverty in America:

Food Insecurity and Hunger
  • 49.1 million people in the United States were food insecure in 2008—up from 36.2 million in 2007.
  • 14.6 percent of U.S. households were food insecure in 2008—up from 11.1 percent in 2007.
  • 5.7 percent of U.S. households in 2008 experienced “very low food security,” a term the government has been using the last few years in place of “food insecurity with hunger”—up from 4.1 percent in 2007.
  • 16.7 million U.S. children were food insecure in 2008—up from 12.4 million in 2007.
  • 22.5 percent of U.S. children were food insecure in 2008—up from 16.9 percent in 2007.
Poverty, Unemployment, and Clean Energy
  • 39.8 million people in the United States were living in poverty in 2008—up from 37.3 million in 2007.
  • 13.2 percent of the U.S. population was living in poverty in 2008—up from 12.5 percent in 2007.
  • 14.1 million U.S. children were living in poverty in 2008—up from 13.3 million in 2007.
  • 19 percent of U.S. children were living in poverty in 2008—up from 18 percent in 2007.
  • As of November 2009, 5.7 million U.S. workers were unemployed (10.2 percent)—a rise of 8.2 million since the start of the recession in December 2007.
  • Since December 2007, employment in construction has fallen by 1.6 million.
  • Since December 2007, employment in manufacturing has fallen by 2.1 million.
  • Most of the job growth in the clean energy sector would be in construction and manufacturing (45 percent of all job losses during the recession).

NBCI will form a national task force, consisting of food advocates and local and national social service experts. This task force will make an appeal to the corporate community to raise the $6 million needed for the purchasing and the distribution of food to needy families. The objective here is to temporally curtail hunger and to help families get a leg up on this economic crisis, especially those family whose house is about to be foreclosed or those who are unemployed.

A Just and Sustainable Recovery

David and his wife Lisa had never dreamed they would be relying on a food pantry to feed their four children and themselves. “This has taught me never to judge someone until you have walked in their shoes,” said Lisa.

As the economy began to unravel in 2007, the two college graduates found themselves with $30,000 of business debts and no hope of holding onto the car and truck repair shop that they’d inherited from David’s parents. After they lost the business, David found a job briefly as a mechanic, but was laid off when the recession deepened. Months passed before he found a job fixing copiers. The drop in their income has been so severe that they still use the food pantry.

David, Lisa, and their kids live in northern Massachusetts.1 Stories like theirs have been common around the country since the start of the recession. And like Lisa, many testify to the empathy they’ve experienced, walking in the shoes of the hungry.

“I’m a spiritual person, and I can only wonder why God has led me here,” said Michael Brown of Los Angeles, a mental health professional with a master’s degree, out of work for nearly a year when his story appeared in the Los Angeles Times in January 2009.2 When there was nowhere else to turn, he and his 9-year-old daughter used the city’s emergency food system. “It’s humbling,” he said.

Visit The 2010 Hunger Report website to read the entire report

End Child Hunger by 2015

two boys in matching
                        shirts - End Child Hunger by 2015

Child hunger in a country as wealthy as ours is scandalous. One in six U.S. children lives in a household that struggles against hunger.

Identifying policies that should be improved is the easy part—it takes leadership to help others see that ending child hunger is in everyone’s interest. Learn more about ending child hunger »

Hunger by the Numbers

Interactive Data: Hunger 2010

Construction and manufacturing have been hit hard over the years and especially during this recession.

Since 2000, we have lost 4 million manufacturing jobs and we will continue to do so unless we rebuild our manufacturing sector. Learn more about unemployment »

Study Guide

Study Guide for the
                        Hunger Report 2010

The Bible teaches us that God is redeeming his people and restoring the whole creation.

The study guide is designed for Christians of many theological and political viewpoints. Each session invites participants to consider how they might act in response to the issues discussed in the Hunger Report. Learn more »

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The National Black Church Initiative is working with the Smithsonian Institute to help preserve and protect the First African Baptist Church, the oldest Black Baptist church in America.