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Posts Tagged: JCPA Results 3

An Inside Look at the JCPA Food Stamp Challenge

Image: Deborah Lopez

For the gourmands among us in NYC, the words “food” and “crisis” are likely to refer to an inability to choose which hot new restaurant to grace for dinner. The word “hunger” can often get lost in the cacophony of “local,” “pasture-raised” and “sustainably grown.” Perhaps more so in the Jewish community, where much of our celebration is surrounded by food and we are overwhelmed by the abundance of it; the idea of Jewish values and hunger may get lost in the shuffle.

Enter: The Food Stamp Challenge.

Jews vs. The Farm Bill

The issue inspiring the latest Jewish political movement won’t surprise readers of this blog—but it might cause some head scratching among the rest of the Jewish community. It isn’t Israel or the 99%. Nope, it’s… the U.S. Farm Bill!

While it may seem like an unlikely target for a swell of Jewish activism, the Farm Bill—which dictates U.S. law on everything from agriculture to food stamps to biofuels—is packed with policies that go against the grain of Jewish ethics. The bill is up for debate and reauthorization this year, and six Jewish organizations are seizing the opportunity to call for reforms that they feel will go a long way toward achieving their Torah-inspired visions of food justice. Even though they’re each tackling a different aspect of the bill, they’ve recently joined forces to maximize their power and mobilize their constituents toward a common goal.

Keeping Kosher During the Food Stamp Challenge

Image: Sara Kranzler

It was after Rabbi Ari Weiss bumped into and spoke with Rabbi Steve Gutow of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs on Rosh Hashanah, that he decided to take the Food Stamp Challenge. This means he would have to get by on no more than $31.50 worth of groceries (the average amount of food stamps granted to a qualifying individual) for an entire week. That’s just $1.50 per meal, without snacks. He knew it wouldn’t be easy, especially since he keeps strictly kosher.

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