Sunday as I left church, I saw a woman on a corner down a block with a cardboard sign that said, “Out of work 08. Help.” I couldn’t on the spot. She was asking for work, not food money. She wiped her eyes twice before I got around the corner, maybe feeling humiliated, maybe despairing. What do I or any of us do to help her? I don’t have a job to give her. Maybe somebody in the line of cars did. This woman’s need points to the reason we have government–so we can provide services for people together that we cannot do alone. Government constantly gets a bad rap when in fact it’s our capacity to ensure the common good of all citizens. More people are using food banks and shelves that in years as the recession continues in so many people’s lives.
To help me reflect on the common good, I regularly turn to two organizations–Network and Bread for the World. As budget talks heat up once more in Washington, Bread for the World urges Congress to create a circle of protection around people in our country who are hungry and poor. Bread for the World works with churches, synagogues, and mosques to promote public policies that work to end hunger. Read their March 20 bulletin, explore their research at bread.org, and consider joining in their work for legislative action.