Today, we remember the immeasurable debt our country owes to Martin Luther King Jr. On this day in particular I cannot help but be inspired by the words spoken by this great man.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
If readers took anything from my previous post, I hope it was a sense that feeding the hungry is not an issue of entitlement; it is not a place for anything but altruism; and it is certainly not a place for judgment. Any person going hungry in this world, our country and in the State of Iowa is an injustice and therefore a threat to justice everywhere.
Last Wednesday, the Iowa Food Bank Association had the chance to partner with many wonderful organizations that stand by our side in the fight against hunger. Together with the United Ways of Iowa, Food Bank of Iowa, Des Moines Area Religious Council, and Senator Jeff Danielson, we held a forum at the capitol building in Des Moines to educate central Iowa legislators on the issue of hunger and our proposed legislation. We collaborated with the United Ways of Iowa to hold similar forums throughout Iowa this past summer, and we plan to continue exposing hunger in Iowa through future forums..
I was asked after the event how this forum compared to others hosted throughout the state. In most senses it was fairly similar. The attendance matched those of other forums, the number of legislators in attendance was fairly standard and the agenda was almost verbatim from past events. However, there was most definitely one big difference: the atmosphere.
The Iowa state capitol building is one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever seen, and the room in which we held the forum holds true to that standard. However, it is not just the appearance of the place that creates the atmosphere. It is the feeling I get as I approach Des Moines from the interstate, pull in to the parking lot and beginning walking towards the golden dome. It is a feeling that this is a place where change can happen, this is place where I can make my voice heard, and this is a place where I can fight social injustice. That ambiance resonated in the vaulted ceilings of the room, and our words felt magnified by the power the capitol building exudes.
However, words are fleeting and so is their power. No matter how much momentum a bellowing freight train has it will eventually come to a halt if fuel is not added to the fire. Voices of hunger advocates may have resonated through the halls of the capitol for an hour, maybe a day or possibly even longer, but without new voices joining the chorus and fueling the fire our message will slow to a halt and be passed by another message that is being fueled by a stronger fire.
My call to you is to not simply read, learn and possibly feel inspired, but to stand up and make your voice heard. Help us to gather the momentum we need to no longer allow hungry Iowans to be ignored and marginalized. Help us to expose hunger as the injustice that it is and join the fight to preserve justice for all.
To learn more and TAKE ACTION go to http://iowafba.org/TakeAction.aspx