A heated debate has begun over the way our country delivers food to "the least of these," and the passion and conviction of the evangelical community are needed in this conversation. Evangelicals proclaim the kingdom of God has already been inaugurated but does not yet fully reign in our world. Because we still live in this in-between space, men, women and children made in God's image continue to suffer all kinds of evil, manmade and otherwise. One such evil is hunger, all the more cruel when we consider our world produces enough food to sustain every one of God's image-bearers.

Today there are some 870 million image-bearers who are chronically hungry. We know the church cannot be a spectator while people starve to death, and thankfully, we are getting Christ's hands and feet dirty. There is also a growing consensus among evangelical leaders that the world's richest and strongest nation has a role to play. In fact, since the creation of our nation's food aid system in 1954, the U.S. has helped feed more than one billion people in over 150 countries, on less than half of one percent of the federal budget. Some evangelical relief and development organizations are on-the-ground implementers of U.S. aid, demonstrating a successful public-private partnership to reach people in need. Praise God for that!

For evangelicals, motivation to help the world's most vulnerable arises from knowing God's love and hearing God's call to partner with Him to advance His reign of abundance on earth as it is in heaven. And all Americans should be motivated by knowing that our nation's investments in food aid help create a more stable, safer, and prosperous world.

But we now live in a time ...

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