Why I'm Fasting for Food Justice (Part II)

Many of you still wonder what I, and the other 36 human rights and food justice organizations whose leaders are participating in this fast so far, hope to accomplish.

There is, of course, the hope that massive public mobilizations will work—that a Congress hearing arguments from many different quarters against the slashing of domestic food programs and international food aid will come to its senses. It would be wonderful if the decisionmakers in this country would move beyond cutting programs that represent tiny—really infinitesimal—portions of our federal budget, and find other ways to save money that don’t impact the more than one billion people in the world who already go to bed hungry every night. It would be even better if they would recognize the importance of the United States living up to its role in the world and exemplifying the values of care and concern still important to so many of us.

But that is not the answer to why I am fasting, why I am challenging myself to go without food for an extended period of time. I am fasting because I want to be sure that I am as powerfully connected as I can be to the realities of the people on whose behalf I work and speak. I am fasting because I want to put myself on the line, to test myself in ways that I believe may deepen my passion and my compassion—ways that may properly fuel my anger at how unjust the world is.