Jewish Leaders Fast Against Budget Cuts


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Leaders of two Jewish groups are joining an organized fast to protest proposed congressional budget cuts to poverty programs in the United States and abroad.

The fast, initiated by HungerFast, a group led by anti-hunger activist Tony Hall, takes aim at proposed substantive cuts now under consideration in Congress that would target overseas food aid and domestic programs that provide food stamps, subsidized meals for preschoolers and their mothers, and subsidized heating for the poor.

Participants include the senior staff of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the umbrella body for Jewish public policy groups, and Ruth Messinger, the president of the American Jewish World Service, a Jewish relief group.

Options for fasters during the March 28 to April 24 period include missing one meal a day; a liquid diet one day a week; a liquid diet; or living on $2 or $4 a day, which respectively are the international poverty level and what U.S. food stamps recipients receive.

JCPA staffers will miss one meal a day for the two weeks before Passover, which begins on April 18. Messinger will fast for a week, starting Monday: two days on water and then five days on liquids.

Also supporting the effort is Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger.