Archive for the ‘Fighting Poverty with Faith’ Category

Thank you for being my neighbor

Thursday, November 26th, 2015

Thanksgiving seems like a natural time to reflect on the golden rule: to love thy neighbor as thyself.

I grew up in Pittsburgh during the 70s, and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood was my favorite show. Fred Rogers lived in Pittsburgh too, and it felt like I was visiting with a kind neighbor every afternoon.

In his simple and elegant way, Mister Rogers helped me understand what it means to truly love thy neighbor as thyself.

First, he made sure I knew that I am special. Second, he taught me that my neighbor is anyone I am with. Third, I learned that it is reciprocal. If I am special, then the people I happen to be with at any moment – my neighbors – must be special too.

Later today, as we sit around the table with our friends and family and give thanks, I will be thinking about how lucky I am to work with so many special people across the state of Alabama as we work together to break down the barriers to prosperity.

Thank you for being my neighbor.

Happy Thanksgiving,

What’s on your plate?

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

Temple Beth-El Earth Day Community Conversation Connects Local Food, Anti-Hunger Efforts

photoOn Saturday, I had the pleasure of joining Little Savannah Co-Owner Maureen Holt, a slow food advocate, for an Earth Day community conversation with Temple Beth-El (TBE) members about local food and anti-hunger efforts in Birmingham.

Alabama has the second highest rate of hunger in the country, and Birmingham has the 12th highest rate of food hardship amongst major metro areas. It is also nationally known for its local food scene.

Thus, I was challenged to connect eating local and fighting hunger. As I followed along with the day’s Torah readings, a passage from Leviticus Chapter 19 jumped out at me: “you shall not favor the poor and you shall not honor the great.”

Exactly, I said to myself. Locally grown produce and farmers markets should not just be for the affluent; in a just society, there should be choices available to all of us, regardless of income.

In order to build food justice, we need many different kinds of people, organizations and businesses within a community to work together to increase access to healthy, affordable, fresh food produced and processed locally.

While many Birmingham residents are familiar with the Pepper Place Farmers Market, WE Gardens and the Eastlake Farmers Market also host regular markets. Eastlake accepts SNAP/EBT and Senior Nutrition Coupons. To find a farmers market near you (or in a community you would like to explore), check out this list from the Year of Alabama Food and this one from the Greater Birmingham Community Food Partners.

Many thanks to TBE Community Conversation Co-Chair and APP Board Chair Joyce Spielberger for inviting me to speak to her congregation. Thank you also to her Community Conversation Co-Chair Toby Siegel and TBE Executive Director Bob Greenberg for coordinating the program.

We are especially grateful to have TBE join our faith partnership with a monetary donation.  TBE’s Earth Day program was sponsored by Dalia & Keith Abrams, Suzanne & Howard Bearman, Chico Bomchel Memorial Social Action Fund, Barbara Bonfield, Barbara & Scott Brande, Cherie & Bob Greenberg, Sheri & Jimmy Krell, Vicki & Art Lewis, Esther Schuster & Allen Shealy, Gail & Abe Schuster, and Joyce Spielberger.

For information about APP’s anti-hunger work, or how your faith community can join APP’s Faith Partnership, please contact me at 205.939.1408 or

Above: TBE Community Conversation Co-Chair and APP Board Chair Joyce Spielberger, APP ED Kristina Scott, and TBE Community Conversation Co-Chair Toby Siegel outside Temple Beth-El.


The Gift of Hope: APP’s 2012 Holiday Membership Premium

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

As supporters of Alabama Possible-Alabama Poverty Project, you hope that together we can reduce, and one day end, poverty in Alabama.

That hope comes from the conviction, despite all evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach, work, and fight for it.

You can give the gift of hope with our 2012 gift membership premium.

This year, we teamed up with Camden’s BlackBelt Treasures and Lowndes County Artist Andrew McCall, who works with wisteria, Kudzu and grape vines he harvests from the backwoods of the Black Belt to make unique wreaths.  No two are alike.

For your donation of $50 or more, we’ll mail your honoree a gift box with artisan-made wreath adorned with burlap flowers (natural or Alabama Possible Blue) along with a special note acknowledging your gift and their membership in APP supporting of our work engaging, educating, and advocating to reduce poverty in Alabama. 

Order here by midnight on Wednesday, December 19, to make sure your gift arrives on time. Payment accepted via Paypal only. Call 205-939-1408 with any questions.