By Tom Holmes
The CROP Hunger Walk is still over three months away on May 4, but I'm thinking about it already for two reasons.
One is that Congress has cut funding for SNAP (food stamps) and we expect that reduction will cause hungry neighbors of ours to put even more pressure on our food banks and pantries. Our CROP Walk last May gave thousands of dollars to these grass roots efforts in Chicago, Oak Park and Forest Park to help them keep up with the demand. This year the need will most likely be even greater.
A second reason the CROP Walk has been on my mind is that there is no way our efforts, as good and generous as they will be on May 4, will be able to fill the hole left by the spending cuts by Congress. That's why I am not only a part of the planning for the CROP Walk, but I'm also a member of Bread for the World, a group that lobbies Congress to get its priorities straight by fully funding programs like SNAP.
I simply don't agree that religion and politics don't mix. I have received my most basic values from my religious faith. One of those values is sharing the abundance I've been given with those who need it most. I give money to my faith community which participates in the CROP Walk. I also pay taxes. Charities simply can't fill all the empty stomachs is this country, let alone in the rest of the world.
Through CROP I raise money from my neighbors to help charities feed the hungry. Through Bread for the World I lobby my representatives in Washington to do the same with our federal budget.