While the farm crisis no longer makes daily headlines, problems continue to plague many of the nation’s family farms. And an Oklahoma evangelist is calling on churches to get involved in programs that would help farmers and also benefit hungry people.

Larry Jones, president of Feed the Children, has been a long-time advocate of using the country’s billions of bushels of farm surplus to feed the hungry. “It’s hard to believe that one out of every four children—including one out of every two nonwhite children—are malnourished in a country where there are not enough [grain] elevators to store our surplus food,” he has said. Jones estimates it costs American taxpayers $9.6 million a day to store surplus harvests.

In an effort to dramatize how churches can become involved, Jones has launched a series of special events in several major cities. The kick-off event, Feed the Children Washington, D.C., included a three-day evangelistic crusade at the Washington Monument and distribution of more than 1 million pounds of food. Some of the food was donated by farmers and corporations, and Feed the Children purchased the rest from farm surplus. More than 600 Washington-area churches distributed the food to the needy through food banks and soup kitchens.

While much of the media attention focused on the food giveaway, Jones said he believes the evangelistic rally was equally important. When people are physically hungry, he said, they often are also spiritually thirsty. “Words are cheap at times, but when we follow our words with a million pounds of food for these people, we feel they’re going to see that someone really does care.”

The Washington, D.C., effort included a visit to centers ...

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