Letter: A Christian perspective on ending child hunger

Graphic by Lori Deaton

In the tapestry of my life, I am woven as an itinerant elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, currently honored to serve as the presiding elder of the Western District in the Western North Carolina Conference. As a guardian of faith and a humble attendee of the recent town hall led by The Center for Black Health & Equity, a leadership organization of the statewide, nonpartisan School Meals for All NC coalition, I am compelled to voice my concern and commitment to solving the pervasive issue of child hunger through simply making meals available to students where we can, namely at their schools.

Geographically, the Western District encompasses the counties west of Wake County, including Wake County itself. Why, one might ask, is a religious leader deeply involved in the crusade against child hunger? The answer is simple, yet profound. As a Christian minister, my moral compass points unwaveringly toward the eradication of hunger, with a particular emphasis on the plight of hungry children. The Christian faith at its core demands a commitment to alleviating suffering and fostering compassion for the most vulnerable among us.

In the canvas of my experiences, I have witnessed the consequences of hunger and malnutrition. These afflictions, with their insidious grip on the lives of their victims, have left a permanent mark on my heart. It is not enough to offer prayers and sympathy; action is the divine response to the call for justice and compassion. In the face of such adversity, it becomes not only a professional responsibility but a profound personal priority to address child hunger head-on.

There exists a powerful adage that declares, “Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” As a Christian entrusted with shepherding a community, my spiritual duty compels me to discern where the spirit of God is moving. It requires a constant inquiry into the divine work that beckons, asking, “Where is God at work?” In this critical point in time, the answer resounds: God is moving hearts to end child hunger.

The imperative for Christians is clear — to recognize the divine movement and align ourselves with the purpose of God. It is an invitation to actively participate in a cause that transcends our individual pursuits and denominational boundaries. At this very moment, the collective spirit of humanity is stirred toward a common mission: to feed our children and ensure that no child goes to bed hungry.

Supporting school breakfasts and lunches for all children at no cost to families emerges as a powerful means to join this divine movement. It is an expression of solidarity with the broader call to eliminate child hunger in the state of North Carolina. By removing financial barriers and ensuring that every child has access to nutritious meals within the educational system, we affirm our commitment to nurturing the physical and spiritual well-being of the next generation.

I implore all fellow believers to recognize the divine invitation before us. Let us rally around the cause of ensuring that no child within our state, our nation or our world goes hungry. In doing so, we become the embodiment of God’s love and compassion, working together to usher in a future where every child can thrive, nourished and embraced by the collective arms of a caring community.

— Conrad K. Pridgen
Whitsett, N.C.

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6 thoughts on “Letter: A Christian perspective on ending child hunger

  1. Enlightened Enigma

    As food costs rise, the quality of government school food diminishes and should not be forced on poor children. Shut down the cafeterias and let the parents furnish their daily food needs from home. MUCH healthier this way and parents get to choose their diet !

    • WNC

      You’re making the assumption all parents are reliable and can afford to pack lunch.

      • Enlightened Enigma

        They have to be reconditioned and compelled to feed their own children, which is part of learning! Parents who fail to furnish their child’s food would be exposed and dealt with publicly. ‘don’t breed em if you can’t feed em’ …

        • HendoHendo

          Your lack of understanding about hunger in our mountains is unfortunate.

          • Enlightened Enigma

            The broader message of lifetime dependence on others for food is abhorrent.

  2. Grima

    It’s not that we can’t assist the poor, it’s that we can’t satisfy the rich.

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