NEW YORK (Oct. 25)
The Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) joined today with American Catholic and Protestant organizations involved like it in international relief work in what was termed an “unprecedented ecumenical coalition” aimed at eradicating hunger in the world.
A campaign urging Americans to contribute at least $10, the “cost of a Thanksgiving meal for one person, “to the Thanksgiving Hunger Fund was launched at a press conference conducted by Bishop Edward B. Broderick, executive director of the Catholic Relief Service; Dr. Paul McCleary, executive director of the Church World Service, a Protestant group; and Donald Robinson, president of the JDC.
Robinson, who described the more than 60 years of experience that the JDC had in fighting hunger and hunger-related problems among Jews, said his organization was pleased to be cooperating with the other two groups in a program which would first explain to the American public the extent of the hunger problem and then seek to provide food and good nutrition throughout the world.
Broderick, who is president of the board of trustees of the Thanksgiving Hunger Fund, a post that will rotate among the three groups each year, pointed out that almost 30 percent of the world’s population is starving. He said the three groups want to “ensure the implicit right of all people to have enough to eat.” The Catholic Bishop said he saw the program as a “big breakthrough in ecumenical” cooperation and hoped it would lead to the development of programs to eradicate hunger.
McCleary pointed out that many of the people who die throughout the world because of hunger do so not from starvation but from malnutrition. He stressed that 15 percent of the funds raised will be used to meet the problems of hunger in the United States.
McCleary said the campaign, which runs through Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 23, will include strong local level appeals conducted by local chapters of the National Conference of Christians and Jews and other groups. He said in addition to seeking the $10 contribution from individuals, corporations and foundations were also being urged to donate funds.
Broderick noted that only five percent of the amount raised would go for administrative purposes. Bob and Dolores Hope are the 1978 national honorary chairpersons of the fund-raising drive.
Donations can be sent either to the Thanksgiving Hunger Fund, Box 1983, Chicago, III. 60690 or to the three individual organizations, McCleary said. He said all three organizations will share equally in the funds raised, but stressed that none of the money would be used for any of the organizations’ administrative expenses.