Food security a moral issue, says bishop at Iowa Hunger Summit

Food security a moral issue, says bishop at Iowa Hunger Summit

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNS) — The head of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace called food security a moral issue during a keynote address Oct. 14 at the Iowa Hunger Summit. “Food security and the relationship between food and peace are moral issues,” said Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, speaking in his own diocese. “In our Christian tradition, we believe that lifting people out of poverty and feeding the hungry are serving Jesus in disguise.” Bishops Pates, who has served as head of the committee for three years, said, “People who can feed and support their families in dignity are less likely to be engaged in conflict. To build a more stable and prosperous world, we need to adopt policies that get at the underlying causes of conflict and hunger. Conflict increases hunger and hunger increases conflict.” He added, “It is my hope that you will join me in urging the U.S. government to ensure that poverty-focused international assistance provides adequate funds to support others in building peace and prosperity in our world. In my travels to Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East, I have seen the effects of conflict on hunger, and of hunger on conflict.”