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JCPA, Obama officials discuss poverty

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Leaders of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs met with two Obama Cabinet members to discuss poverty.

JCPA and representatives of Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger met Monday with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to talk about potential partnerships between the Jewish community and the administration on poverty and childhood hunger.

The groups also asked the secretaries to endorse the organization of a White House Conference on Hunger and Nutrition that would set government-wide benchmarks to help meet the administration’s goal of ending hunger by 2015. They also called on the administration to support the reauthorization of childhood nutrition funding of at least $1 billion a year.

“As the Jewish community approaches the Days of Awe, we are reminded through Isaiah to ‘Share your bread with the hungry, and to take the wretched poor into your home; When you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to ignore your own kin,’ " JCPA President Rabbi Steve Gutow said in a statement. “In the new year, we should all make a resolution to follow Isaiah’s teachings and make poverty reduction in this country a top priority and to this end, we organized these meetings to show secretaries Vilsack and Sebelius that the Jewish community is committed to reform and full of ideas to help the administration meet its goal to end childhood hunger by 2015.”

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