Ending hunger is a moral imperative that does not stand alone. Hunger thrives on the racial, social, and economic inequalities that are eating away at the soul of our nation and pulling us apart. But ending hunger could now become the cause that brings us together across partisan lines to make our economy include everyone and work for everybody.
The goal of ending hunger nationwide is not only noble but easily within reach. Taking up this goal could give us a corrective lens, a lens of hope for seeing ourselves and our country in a new way. It could also give us better vision for helping the world overcome extreme hunger and poverty.
Our failure to speak and write to members of Congress about hunger consigns millions of people here and abroad to diminished lives and premature death, so it is a silence that kills. We can break that silence by urging the nation’s leaders to help end hunger and humanize our economy.
This book addresses all people of goodwill, including agnostics and atheists, but with a special word of concern for religious people—Christians in particular—who help through charity, but neglect to use the power of their citizenship against hunger.
Arthur Simon is founder and president emeritus of Bread for the World, a national citizens voice urging our nation's decision makers to help end hunger at home and abroad. He is the recipient of a President's Lifetime Achievement Award, has had articles featured in major journals, and has written a number of books, including The Politics of World Hunger, which he co-authored with his brother, Paul Simon, the late US Senator from Illinois.
“In his compelling book Silence Can Kill, Arthur Simon’s illuminating vision of a moral center reveals in sharp relief the limitations of private charity and the important role of public justice in ending hunger and addressing other deeply rooted inequalities. Simon commendably appeals to our best instincts as citizens in his forceful call to join the public and winnable fight against human suffering.” — William Julius Wilson Harvard University
“An inspiration and a call to action. Silence Can Kill is a guidebook for changing the world and an urgent invitation to take on the task.” — E. J. Dionne Jr., Washington Post
“A thought-provoking read, Silence Can Kill should inspire each one of us to do our part—however small—in combating hunger. Art Simon emphasizes the power of citizen advocacy in shaping our nation’s hunger policy. He makes a credible case that ending hunger is a surprisingly attainable goal—one that can be achieved through determination and a unified voice. More than just informative, this book is a call to action.” — Senator Bob Dole
“In Silence Can Kill, the author challenges Christians to demand that there be no hungry people in our world. Through the window of Bread for the World, Simon sets out what is needed for food justice and why we resist. We have the ability to feed a hungry world, but we lack the will. Readers will come away challenged and (I hope) engaged in the campaign to speak up and save our neighbors and our planet.” — Simone Campbell CEO, Network Lobby and leader of “Nuns on the Bus”
“Who among us would choose the brokenness, strife, and ugliness we are witnessing in our nation today. Our country desperately needs the inspiring and healing vision of Silence Can Kill.” —Spencer Bachus former congressman and chair of the House Financial Services Committee
“In the face of the most profound partisan division, we need a cause that can once again unite us. Ending hunger can be that cause. This is a huge book, compelling in its argument, morally urgent, the culminating contribution of one of America’s most important, practical, Christian moral leaders of the last fifty years. I recommend this book with the highest enthusiasm.” — David P. Gushee Mercer University, and immediate past president, American Academy of Religion and the Society of Christian Ethics
“In Silence Can Kill, Arthur Simon draws upon his extraordinary experience as founder of Bread for the World, a citizen lobby to end national and world hunger. He paints a compelling picture of an America where hunger and injustice are evils of the past once the obstacles of doubt, silence, and the political divide are removed. Simon powerfully advocates a joint effort of private charities, government, communities, and families to end hunger and create a just economy for all Americans. Silence Can Kill is a must-read for everyone desiring an America ‘we the people’ need.” — Barbara Williams-Skinner president, Skinner Leadership Institute
“Art Simon is a drum major! Silence Can Kill is a towering and compelling moral vision to end hunger! Art Simon combines a deep analysis of the root causes of poverty with an inspirational hope that ending hunger is indeed possible in our generation.” — Gabriel Salguero president, National Latino Evangelical Coalition
“Arthur Simon, at age 88, asks us to come together across partisan lines to end hunger and improve opportunity for all Americans. We need this book now.” — David Beckmann president, Bread for the World
“Arthur Simon has spent a lifetime issuing much-needed wake-up calls to force America to confront the horrid realities of domestic and international hunger. He does it again in Silence Can Kill, a searing indictment of our failing status quo that allows mass food deprivation at a time of soaring wealth at the top. The book is on target on all the big issues: that hunger saps us morally and economically, that charity alone can’t fix the problem, but that the problem of hunger can indeed be solved by building a people’s movement to compel governments to enact the proven public policies to end it.” — Joel Berg CEO, Hunger Free America
“In this era of increasing national and global wealth disparities, Silence Can Kill is a pivotal treatise on the causes, consequences, and remedies to address hunger and poverty. With a twenty-first-century prophetic imagination for justice and food security for all peoples, Simon offers a comprehensive analysis and compelling questions to all those with a heart to hear and a commitment to democratic values.” — Iva Caruthers General Secretary, Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference
“Silence Can Kill is a timely call to intensified citizen engagement in advocacy to end hunger now. Drawing on decades of experience mobilizing Christians of diverse traditions to work together, Art Simon is both prophetic and pastoral, idealistic and practical. Americans have long been generous with charitable contributions and volunteering to help their vulnerable neighbors. Simon points out that citizens must also press government to fulfill its indispensable role in allocating resources and setting policies that offer help and opportunity to those living with poverty and hunger. At key moments in our history, Americans have risen to the challenge, with transformative results. We can draw strength from past successes even as we redouble our efforts in the face of current needs. If silence can kill, a united Christian witness to God’s love and justice can bring life and hope to millions of our struggling neighbors.” — Galen Carey vice president for government relations, National Association of Evangelicals
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