Christian leaders press presidential hopefuls on plans to ease hunger
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 15, 2015 - A group of Christian leaders known as the Circle of Protection is once again inviting presidential candidates to submit brief video statements outlining their proposals to improve the well-being of hungry and impoverished Americans.
“Poverty needs to be a top priority for them, as it is for us,” Jim Wallis, founder and CEO of Sojourners magazine, said today at a Washington news conference outlining the initiative. “That is why, as each presidential candidate declares, the faith community will hold them accountable by asking them all - Republicans and Democrats alike, ‘How will you address and find real solutions to poverty?'”
In 2012, President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney answered the group's challenge by sending in videotaped statements of their proposals for how they intended to alleviate hunger and poverty during their tenure.
The group, comprised of 100 U.S. Christian leaders from different denominations, relief agencies, and colleges, are asking 2016 presidential candidates to do the same.
“We are looking for (candidates) to seize this moment and take decisive leadership in ways that address the complex yet solvable evil of poverty,” the Rev. Sekinah Hamlin, director of the Ecumenical Poverty Initiative, said in a press release.
According to the 2013 U.S. Census, 45.3 million Americans (14.7 million of which are children) are impoverished and 49 million are at risk of hunger.
The vice president of government relations for the National Association of Evangelicals, Galen Carey, also issued a statement today in support of Circle of Protection's campaign.
Carey said he welcomes “fresh approaches to reducing poverty” and asked candidates to “assure us that they will protect proven strategies… such as Food Stamps (SNAP) and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which rewards work and lifts millions out of poverty.”
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