Setting a strong stage for students and Belmont University’s Wealth and Poverty theme, the Rev. David Beckmann spoke on “Ending Hunger Now” during the first chapel of the academic year.
“When God sent Moses to Pharaoh, it was not to ask for canned goods, it was to demand that Pharaoh let his people go. And God gave his people all kinds of laws to follow. Among them were provisions regarding the orphans, widows and poor,” Beckmann said in the overflowing Neely Hall on Aug. 31.
World Food Prize laureate, president of Bread for the World and author of Exodus from Hunger and Transforming the Politics of Hunger, Beckmann earned degrees from the London School of Economics and Yale and was ordained by the Lutheran church to use his skills to alleviate hunger. He led church-based development programs in rural Bangladesh before spending 15 years at the World Bank. Bread for the World is a grassroots, Christian citizens’ movement against hunger. Its 56,000 members and member churches urge the U.S. government to take actions to reduce hunger, both domestic and international.
In Wednesday’s convocation lecture for students, Beckmann encouraged them to connect their faith and eagerness to serve with politics.
“The politics of hunger are that we cannot food bank our way out of hunger,” he said. “We need to complement what we do through charitable means with letters and emails to Sen. (Bob) Corker to protect poor and impoverished people during the deficit.”
He urged students to write Congressmen – especially Corker, the ranking member on the International Development and Foreign Assistance subcommittee – to ask them not to cut funding for aid organizations that work against hunger and poverty.
Beckmann is a long-time friend of Belmont University, having given speeches on legislation’s impact on low-income families and poor farmers as well as delivering the homily on Poverty & Debate during a Vesper Service preceding the 2008 Town Hall Presidential Debate.