Washington, DC (PRWEB) October 18, 2007
Senate staffers and representatives of humanitarian organizations convened on Capitol Hill today for a simple dish of porridge, the same meal used in U.S. food aid programs abroad. Also this week, students on about 60 college campuses are participating in similar events nationwide.
The event, known as the Broken Bread poverty meal, was hosted by the Senate Hunger Caucus and co-sponsored by Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR). It was led by international Christian humanitarian organization World Vision and the student advocacy movement Acting on AIDS to shed light on the vicious cycle linking poverty, hunger, and AIDS.
Broken Bread participants eat a corn-soy blend of food aid donated from the North American Miller's Association, and hear the stories of actual food-aid recipients in order to better identify with families affected by hunger, poverty and HIV.
"Hunger increases the likelihood that people will adopt risky strategies to survive, such as migrating for work or turning to prostitution to earn money for food, which drastically increases the risk of HIV infection," said Joan Mussa, World Vision's Senior Vice President for Advocacy and Communications. "HIV and AIDS not only create food insecurity, but food insecurity fuels the spread of HIV."
Other speakers included representatives of the Alliance for Food Aid and Friends of the World Food Program, who focused attention on the need and thanked U.S. lawmakers for funding the food aid that helps millions survive.
Some 854 million people in the world lack enough to eat, and 820 million of those live in developing countries, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Only one third of people in the world today, if they eat at all, will have the option of a simple porridge meal such as the one given at this event.
Acting on AIDS, World Vision's student advocacy movement with chapters on more than 180 college and university campuses, developed the Broken Bread program. The group estimates that more than 40,000 people have participated in the poverty meal since it was introduced in December 2006.
For more information or interviews, contact communications manager Geraldine Ryerson-Cruz at 202.572.6302 (office) or 202.615.2608 (mobile).
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. We serve all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information, please visit http://www.worldvision.org.
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