2010 World Food Prize Laureate Rev. David Beckmann says hunger in America is a key issue that should be addressed in the 2012 election.
“About one in five of our children live in households that run out of food,” said Beckmann, who is executive director of Bread for the World. “On the other hand, I think the safety net programs have worked remarkably well in this economy.” Beckmann notes that hunger in the U.S. has not increased since 2008 even though unemployment and poverty did increase, thanks to programs like food stamps, WIC, Medicaid, and tax credits for the working poor.
Bread for the World would like to see those programs continue because they work, which is why they called on President Obama and Governor Romney to state what they will to do to as president for the hungry and poor, and both responded. “Both of them affirmed the idea of a ‘circle of protection’ around hungry and poor people, both stressed jobs, both affirmed charity, both said government programs are important,” said Beckmann who added that the agreement between the two is important on maintaining U.S. safety net programs in the current fiscal situation, “because in the end, we’re going to have to have a bipartisan budget agreement.”
You can see videos of both candidates addressing the topic on the Bread for the World website, www.bread.org.
David also talks about what he calls the “commonality between agriculture and people who are hungry” and has this interesting and quite beautiful perspective. “Farmers feel food, they understand food, and it gets under their skin when they know a lot of people are hungry and it doesn’t need to be,” he said. “So there’s also kind of a spiritual bond between people having a hard time putting food on the table and farmers in the middle of the field where there’s an abundance of food.”
Listen to or download my interview with David here: Rev. David Beckmann at WFP 2012
View the World Food Prize Photo Album here.AgWired coverage of the World Food Prize is sponsored by Elanco