Poverty Initiative at the Food Bank of the Southern Tier’s Annual Conference

Pharaoh 2

During the Genesis 47 Bible study on Joseph and the storehouses. Participants included Natasha Thompson, left, president of the Food Bank of the Southern Tier, and Rev. Joseph Sellepack, center, director of the Broome County Council of Churches, who played “Pharaoh” in the dramatic reading


On May 17, members of the Poverty Initiative’s Poverty Scholars Program presented a workshop on “Responses to Poverty and Hunger: A Faith Perspective” at the annual agency conference of the Food Bank of the Southern Tier (FBST) in Owego, New York.

Adam Barnes, a PhD student at Union, Alicia Swords, professor of Sociology at Ithaca College, and Tim Shenk coordinator of the Committee on US Latin American Relations (CUSLAR) at Cornell led a Bible study and discussion with more than 80 volunteers from many of the FBST’s 165 food pantries.
Adam 2
“What does God say about hunger and poverty? How can our faith guide our work to feed the hungry and challenge us to question how people have become hungry?” The Poverty Scholars used the story of Joseph and the Storehouses from on Genesis 47.
Poverty Scholars have been collaborating with the Food Bank’s Hunger Scholars Program for nearly two years in developing a broad hunger education curriculum. The FBST has responded to the increasing inability of Southern Tier families to put sufficient food on the table: it distributed a record 7.5 million pounds of food throughout six counties last year, but many share the reality of the food pantry in Corning, NY, which registered an astounding 43 percent increase in distribution from 2011 to 2012.  Moreover, it is estimated that twice as much food (16 million pounds) is required to meet the needs of food insecure individuals and families in the Southern Tier.
Discussion 2Read more about the work of the Food Bank of the Southern Tier here.  More about the Poverty Scholars here, and additional Bible study resources from the Poverty Initiative here.