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Published: Sunday, 1/19/2014 - Updated: 11 months ago

Bread for the World advocacy program urges people to lobby Congress

BY MATT THOMPSON
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Writing letters to Congress about feeding the hungry was a major part of the northwest Ohio Bread for the World Hunger Advocacy Training and Gathering at Zoar Lutheran Church on Saturday.

Jon Gromek, regional organizer for Bread for the World, made the trip from Dayton to talk about how Bread for the World members can help.

"There are bills going on in Congress this coming year affecting the poor and hungry," he said. "Farm bill, food stamps, and internationally with sending food overseas during droughts and crisis."

The legislation, Mr. Gromek said, could make it more fiscally sound and less expensive on taxpayers to feed people. Some ways people could help, he explained, are writing to members of the Congress, writing letters to the editor at newspapers, and meeting with elected officials.

He expected 15 to 30 people at Zoar, with people  northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. Mr. Gromek is making trips for similar gatherings throughout the Midwest in the next few weeks.

Shar Cook, chairman for social ministries at Zoar, said the church has this meeting once a year at the end of January or beginning of February.

The church, she said, has programs to help local residents in need of food. It donates to Perrysburg Christians United's food pantry, has a meal at the end of every month for people who are hungry, and conducts a summer lunch program for children who participate during the school year in a lunch program at school.

"Our lobbying efforts are for those hungry that can't have a voice themselves because the majority are children," Ms. Cook said.

"We have to educate and encourage our members and the public to call representatives about issues coming up to vote."

Contact Matt Thompson at: mthompson@theblade.com, 419-356-8786, or on Twitter at @mthompson25.



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