The Bread for the World convention in Raleigh, North Carolina, was a collaborative effort, with a couple dozen churches, businesses, faith organizations joining with Bread to put on this big anti-hunger event at Highland United Methodist Church on March 28. More than 200 people from different corners of North Carolina attended the event, which included a panel discussion entitled "Responses to Hunger from the Christian, Jewish and Muslim Traditions"
A central theme of the event was Feed Our Children, Bread for the World's 2015 Offering of Letters, (generating 223 letters to House and Senate members from North Carolina). The discussion touched on many aspects of hunger in the United States and in North Carolina.
The keynote speaker was Gene Nichol, professor of law and Director of the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity at the University of North Carolina. Nichol addressed the overwhelming statistics that dominate the poverty culture of North Carolina.
Other prominent speakers also offered significant insights, including Bread for the World President David Beckmann ; Jill Bullard, executive director of Inter Faith Food Shuttle; and Rev. Steve Hickle, Faith Outreach Director of Stop Hunger Now. See this link for full lineup.
|Kiara, Miles and Terrance Ruth|
Bread activists Terrance and Kiara Ruth, graduates of the 2010 Hunger Justice Leaders training, also spoke of had speaking roles at the convention.. "I highlighted the link between hunger and education, said Terrance Ruth, who is principal at AMIkids Infinity in Raleigh.
"I discussed how my school of suspended high school students is filled with the same demographics year after year," said Ruth, who also serves as school and policy education and communication Specialist at The Friday Institute for Educational Innovation. We have minority male, criminal history, poor, and academically struggling students on free lunch. Read more thoughts about Terrance Ruth's thoughts on education and society in his series of Letters to My Son, which describe the reality of African-American students and express hope as Miles grows up
Kiara Ruth also addressed the Bread event, speaking about her direct experience with food stamps in her home state of Arkansas.
The Hunger Justice Leaders program not only helped strengthen the commitment of Terrance and Kiara to anti-hunger and social justice efforts, but it also brought them together. Read more in Bread Blog from freelance writer Patricia Bidar.
Bread member Bryan McFarland, whose band Jacob's Join has performed at the Wild Goose Festival in North Carolina 2012, provided the music for this year's Bread event in Raleigh.