Lutheran minister Arthur Simon founded Bread for the World, an antihunger lobby group, in 1974. He served as its president until September 1, when he handed over leadership to David Beckmann. Though he has not announced specific plans, the 61-year-old Simon says he will continue to work to alleviate hunger and poverty around the world. CHRISTIANITY TODAY talked with Simon last month, just before his departure from Bread for the World (BFW).

In your nearly two decades of fighting world hunger, how has the nature of the struggle changed?

The fundamental issues have not changed. As was the case 20 years ago, our biggest challenge is to get Christians to realize that there is a vital ministry in the area of public policy as it pertains to world hunger.

BFW now has 45,000 members. We have made some headway in the effort to raise awareness about world hunger. But in many ways, the problem has gotten bigger. In sheer numbers, more people are dying today of starvation than were dying 20 years ago. And Third World debt, while it was a problem when I got started in this, was not the massive and devastating reality that it is today.

Have you ever felt you were fighting a losing battle?

Not for a minute. Christians are never fighting a losing battle when they are doing God’s work. Clearly, our future is with the kingdom. We may be losing in terms of current statistics, but our hope is not rooted in statistical trends. Our hope is in the resurrection of Christ.

Some observers say that in many parts of the world, nothing can help hungry people until certain countries right themselves politically. What is your response?

It is true that people must be empowered to do for themselves. Outside assistance to address hunger and poverty in the Soviet ...

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