Money, awareness raised during Food Stamp Challenge
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More than 150 rabbis and cantors lived on a food budget of $31.50 for one week as part of the 2012 Jewish Community Food Stamp Challenge, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs announced earlier this month.
In the Bay Area, Rabbi James Greene of the Addison-Penzak JCC in Los Gatos participated, as reported in a j. cover story Nov. 30. Greene is the director of the Center for Jewish Life and Learning at the JCC of Silicon Valley. Four other California clergy also participated.
The event aimed to raise the issue of hunger and potential solutions in congregations around the nation. The challenge engaged more than 700 new activists and raised some $60,000 for anti-hunger programs and the participating Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist movements, according to the JCPA.
“In April 2012, SNAP [the federal government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program] participation rose to a record level of nearly 46.2 million Americans — an increase of more than 1.5 million people compared with one year before,” said JCPA President Rabbi Steve Gutow. “As Jews, and as Americans, we are guided by a moral vision of how we must treat the most vulnerable members of our society. Through this challenge, that vision was articulated.”
Next month, the JCPA and Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger will host their annual Hunger Seder in dozens of communities across the nation. Events will reinterpret the traditional Passover seder to include readings and reflections about hunger and poverty in the United States.
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