The Florida Bahamas Synod has had an active role in the ELCA World Hunger Program for many years. Due to the commitment of many congregations to the fight against hunger and poverty around the world, the Florida Bahamas Synod lead the country in contributions per baptized member to ELCA World Hunger. These funds are used in relief efforts and sustainable development projects all over the world, including domestically in our own communities. ELCA World Hunger partners with organizations such as Lutheran World Relief , Lutheran World Federation, and ELCA Global Mission companion synods, and local congregations to make contributions go farther than they could working alone. The focus is always on creating ways to empower people living in poverty to create better lives for themselves and their families for generations to come.
ELCA Advocacy is a way that congregations can be the voice for those living in poverty around the world, helping people by assisting to change root causes of why so many people live in poverty around the world and in our own communities.
The Florida Bahamas Synod offers many resources and assistance in planning and implementing poverty education and advocacy programs, workshops, bible studies, youth group activities, and even VBS and Sunday School programs to educate congregations on hunger issues and how we can be a part of the solution.
ELCA World Hunger
ELCA ONE Lutheran Campaign
ELCA Disaster Response
ELCA Disaster blog
ELCA Hunger Rumblings blog
“Imagine a well in a community that used to walk 4-6 miles to clean water. Imagine refugees going to school. Imagine mobilized tomato workers and partners speaking up for fair wages. Imagine kindergartners learning for the first time where and how their food gets to the table—that is ELCA World Hunger.
Saturday, March 5 at 2pm Farmworker Justice Demonstration at Publix
1313 South Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa, FL.
The Florida-Bahamas Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America stands behind those who are vulnerable in society; those who have no voice. We join in partnership, walking with the farmworkers of Immokalee in their work toward justice and fair treatment for all. On March 5, 2011 we ask you to join farmworkers from Immokalee, their families and allies from across Florida and beyond for a vibrant and peaceful rally, pageant and celebration to cap off an unforgettable day of actions!
The Campaign continues! Throughout the holidays, consumers are encouraged to continue to participate in asking grocers to help establish fairness and justice in Florida's fields. In the past three months, tomato pickers and tomato growers have inaugurated watershed agreements of mutual cooperation to improve working conditions in the fields and prevent all forms of abuse. The agreements include 90% of Florida's tomato farms. It's now up to consumers and retailers to join growers and farmworkers in making corporate responsibility a reality.
Leading up to Thanksgiving, 2010, CBS news re-broadcast Harvest of Shame on its 50th anniversary. Read about the ground-shaking documentary at CBS. It's time to start something that's really good. We can all ask that the Florida produce we buy in Florida stores represents a sense of fairness that we all expect for ourselves. (That's a form of the Golden Rule!)
See the webpage for the Coalition of Immakolee Workers: http://www.ciw-online.org.
Farmworkers in the fields are family, too. involves filling penny folders with a month of pennies, bible studies and prayer guides. The concept is simple: educate consumers about farmworker conditions and the Campaign for Fair Food and include them in an effort to pursuade Publix Markets to pay farmworkers an additional penny per pound of tomatoes.
The heart of the campaign includes: 1) learning more about farmworker conditions and 2) collecting a month of pennies in a daily penny folder to present to the local Publix's manager as an advance for the day Publix signs an agreement with CIW. Publix is a consumer-sensitive, privately held company. Unlike previous shareholder campaigns with McDonalds, Yum Brands, Sodexo and other end-sellers of tomatoes, Publix does not allow public comment at its annual meeting. However, local Publix markets pride themselves on responding to consumer needs. Thus, Farmworkers in the fields are family, too is a campaign to urge consumers to convince Publix that they are more than willing to pay a fair-wage price for Florida tomatoes.
As you gather around the Thanksgiving table wouldn't it be glorious to know the meal before you is not a product of unjust or slave-like labor conditions? Let us be thankful that we have not been exploited, and the food before us is not brought to our table through exploited labor!
As the penny folders make clear, the pennies presented to Publix in this campaign are designated for the time when Publix enters an agreement with farmworkers to fair labor practices and paying the penny. As consumers, we are standing up for fair labor practices and paying the penny forward.
Download supporting documentation here.
Read more about the Campaign for Fair Food:
The Farmworker Support Group includes Pastors Dana Henderschot and Russell Meyer, Resource Center Director Irene Flynn, World Hunger Coordinator Mary Delasin, and Interfaith Action of Souwest Florida Coordinator Brigitte Gynther.
If it were in your power to help a homeless mother of three receive the training she needs to get a job that pays a living wage, would you give a day of your time to do it?
If it were in your power to inspire a war veteran to tackle the addiction that has paralyzed his life, would you give a day of your time to do it?
If it were in your power to help a mother and father and their two children who are living out of an automobile find affordable housing, would you give a day of your time to do it?
June 28, 2010
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Nothing is more poignant than the photograph of a starving child. Children all over the world, weakened by hunger, are made more susceptible to disease, and have fewer opportunities for education, employment and a healthy life. In this country and in our own state of Florida, we all know there are hungry children, women and men.
I am writing to ask you to make contact within the next several days with your U.S. Senator and U.S. Representative asking that they support the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act that is before Congress. However, I would ask that you encourage them to support the President Obama Administration’s request for a ten billion dollar increase over ten years rather than the Senate’s $4.5 billion or the House’s $8 billion over ten years.
The “Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act” includes:
This isn’t a partisan issue, but it is an issue that needs advocates. NOW is the time to make the contact with our senators and your representatives. Encourage them to insist on finding the monies to fund the full ten billion in the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act. Ask them to make sure it is re-authorized this year, by Sept 30th.
I also encourage congregations to consider serving as summer feeding sites for the Summer Food Service Program. You may find out more about this from http://www.summerfood.usda.gov/ or call 1/866/348-6479. During the school year 17.9 million children participate in the school lunch program. During the summer, only 2.2 million participate. Yet the need for lunches for these children does not change during the summer months.
Please take the several minutes necessary to call Senators Nelson and LeMieux (contact info below), and the house representative for your district! This is an opportunity to speak publicly on behalf of the children and adults who are hungry in our communities.
In Christ and His Love,+Edward R. Benoway, Bishop
LeMieux, George S. - (R - FL)
356 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING, WASHINGTON DC 20510
Nelson, Bill - (D - FL)
716 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING, WASHINGTON DC 20510