Saturday, April 08, 2006

Public Forum on Dallas Children Living in Poverty

On Tuesday, April 18, 2006, beginning at 7:15 a.m. in the Grand Ballroom of the Hilton Anatole Hotel here in Dallas, Central Dallas Ministries will host our 11th Annual Urban Ministries Prayer Event.

Our speaker will be former Senator John Edwards, who currently serves as Director of the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity at the University of North Carolina's School of Law.

The event promises to challenge and inspire us all.

I hope that you can join us.

After the breakfast, at 8:45 a. m., you are invited to join us across the hall from the Grand Ballroom for a public forum to discuss the increasing number of children in our community who are experiencing hunger and illness as a result of rising poverty. Chaired by Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, the panel will include:

  • Jan Pruitt, CEO of North Texas Food Bank
  • The Rev. Gerald Britt, Executive Director of Central Dallas Ministries
  • Charles Senteio, Director of the CDM's Institute for Faith Health Research--Dallas
  • Sonia White, Director of CDM's Nurture, Knowledge and Nutrition initiative

Our conversation will focus on the rising number of children who go without meals in the summer, and we will highlight the work of the Nurture, Knowledge and Nutrition program.

This summer, NKN will provide over 250,000 meals to children throughout Dallas.

To learn more about NKN, please visit:

Join us to learn how your church, school and company can get involved in this free program.

Please RSVP to LeAnne Riley at 214.823.8710 or


Anonymous said...

Why should the parents feed their childten when some organization will do it? Do you think possibly you could be enabling parernts not to do it? The economy is booming, unemployment is low. Most anyone who wants a job can find one.

Larry James said...

Anonymous, jobs are available. We learned this week that the economy produced 200,000 new ones last month. What is reported less loudly is the fact that the vast majority of those jobs are in the low-paying service sector.

In a survey we conducted at CDM, we learned that 89% of the adults we served were either working (some families had as many as 4 jobs under one roof), elderly and retired or disabled. Of the less than 11% who were not working, over half were between jobs.

The problem is not that people don't work. It is that people don't earn enough to make a decent life for themselves and their families.

Minimum wage for a full-time worker translates to a a gross wage of $10,700 annually. Most people who come to us are unskilled and earn less than $10 per hour. Do the math and then think about providing all that a familiy might need with that.

The assistance that we provide is to mostly working families who use our little "grocery store" as a way to supplement their limited incomes. The money they save one week each month on groceries goes to medicine, clothing, transportation, child care, etc.

If you spent a day or two with us, you would have a very different attitude.

Let me be very clear: the parents we work with are feeding their children. We are there to support, encourage, train and advocate for better lives.

I'm thankful you don't need such assistance.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, even if they are working, who will be there to feed the kids during the summer?

Have you ever met a poor person? And no, I don't mean talked to the person bagging your groceries. I mean sat down in the living room of someone who lives in poverty and talked with them about their life? I agree with Larry. If you ever did, your perspective would change.

But, chances are, you are not interested in changing your perspective, merely making arguments to justify your ideas of how to lead your own life.

If you're ever in need, I hope you remember your own lack of compassion when you turn to strangers for help.


Jeff said...

Couldn't you find a better speaker than the Breck Girl?

Larry James said...

Jeff, can't tell if you are smiling or snarling! :)

But, the fact is, Mr. Edwards is about the only national political figure really focusing on and discussing poverty in this country.

We had Mr. Bush when he was Governor of Texas.

We are pleased to have Mr. Edwards.

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