Every day, we routinely decide what we will eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. As we make our meals or restaurant reservations, the parents of 18,000 children in Indianapolis have to decide whether they will be able to serve breakfast, lunch or dinner to their sons and daughters. One in five children in America lives in a household experiencing food insecurity. Worldwide, more than 16,000 children die every day from hunger and related causes. We have the resources to end hunger, to feed the children, and yet the situation gets worse every day. In a land of fruited plain and amber waves of grain, this is nothing less than a national disgrace.
Across the city Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist and Sikh congregations have come together in conversation with Jim Morris, former executive director of the U.N. World Food Program. This dialogue has resulted in the formation of an Interfaith Hunger Initiative to raise awareness of the serious problem of hunger and encourage engagement in feeding hungry children. The financial goal is to raise $300,000. Half of the funds collected will enable Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana to distribute 2 million pounds of food (the equivalent of 1.6 million meals) through local food pantries while strengthening the pantry network. The other half will go to Umoja, a not-for-profit organization composed of Indianapolis congregations that works with schools in a poor rural area outside Eldoret, Kenya, to provide meals for children in the community's 50 schools.