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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Islamic Relief USA Hosts Interfaith Anti-Hunger Meeting

Islamic Relief USA offices in Alexandria, Virginia hosted a three-day meeting this week of the “Inter-faith Anti-Hungers Directors,” a yearly gathering of 10-15 major American faiths groups to address anti-hunger relief and development efforts from an interfaith perspective. Ambassador and former congressman Tony Hall, from the Alliance to End Hunger, gave the keynote address, saying that “Islamic Relief is a great partner of the Inter-faith Anti-Hunger Directors group, and we are very proud to have them with us.”

Among the various topics covered at the meeting were a discussion of the Obama administration’s Global Food Security Initiative, the development of strategies to utilize social media and how to mobilize youth to push forth anti-hunger programs, and a discussion of the World Bank and United Nation FAO’s report, “Agriculture at a Crossroads.” The group also met with United States Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan and took a tour of the USDA.

Islamic Relief USA was honored to host the meeting this year, saying it was a chance to “share difficulties, ideas, and dreams as peers without agendas or project pressures.” In the past, the meetings have yielded collaborative responses to the world hunger problem, like 2005’s “Convocation Against Hunger” held in the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., and the dissemination of educational materials about poverty and hunger issues called “Hunger No More.”

The group, which began in the 1980s initially focused on the Protestant denomination’s anti-hunger relief efforts through sharing ideas about fund raising and educational efforts. But recently the group moved in an interfaith direction and includes key Jewish and Islamic partners, including Islamic Relief USA. Other faith groups regularly attending the meeting include the American Baptists, United Methodist Committee on Relief, Mazon (Jewish Hunger Appeal), Evangelical Lutherans, Missouri Synod Lutherans, Christian Reformed Church, Reformed Church in America, Presbyterian Church in the USA, Cooperative Baptists, United Church of Christ, Church of the Brethren, and others.

Please visit Islamic Relief USA to learn about our work and donate online.
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