Brokenhearted Theology, Global, Meaning

The Hungry Planet (review)

I’ve been posting a lot of reviews lately, and I will probably continue to post some regularly.  I may write something more about this later, but have enjoyed the opportunity to read and review books (often provided by publishers) that I would not have otherwise read.  In addition to the joy of getting new things to read in the mail, I have liked keeping up (or at least attempting to keep up) with trends and happenings in (mostly) Christian publishing.  All that said …

A few weeks ago, I received a CD/DVD combo titled “No Room at the Inn” from the folks at Tyndale House Publishers (through their Media Center Blog Network program).  The product is a resource from the hungry planet bible project, an organization committed to encouraging a Christ-centered response to the issues of homelessness and hunger. On Amazon, the product is described as an Advent/Christmas devotional experience, but that was not part of the product I received, which was just a CD/DVD documentary with a few smaller resources included (a bible study, some statistics on hunger and homelessness, some ideas for how people can get involved locally, etc.).

Having moved recently into a lower-income area (East Hollywood) than I was living for the previous few years (Pasadena), I appreciated the statistics they included about hunger in particular:

*In 2007, 11.1 percent of U.S. households reported being food insecure. This represents 13 million households and over 33.5 million people.
*4.1 percent of U.S. households (4.7 million households) had very low food security.
*On average,households classified as having very low food security experienced the condition in 7 months of the year.
*15.8 percent of households with children were food insecure.
*30.2 percent of households headed by single women with children were food insecure (10.3 percent very low).
*37.7 percent of households with income below the poverty line were food insecure (14.9 percent very low).

All in all, I thought this was a good resource for addressing questions of homelessness and hunger.  The 30-minute documentary was fairly plain (nothing too glamorous with repetitive music throughout most of it), but effective: stories of individuals and families (mostly women and children) from across the U.S. who have been able to transition out of homelessness into more stable living situations.  This would be a good resource for a church or small group interested in finding ways to meet needs related to housing and hunger, especially if supplemented with some additional reading (John Perkins and Ron Sider come to mind).

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