January 25, 2005

Feb. 7 appearance Arthur Simon to discuss world hunger at SIUC

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. - - The Rev. Arthur Simon, a leader in the fight against world hunger for three decades, will lecture next month at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Simon's lecture, "Path to Peace: Tackling World Hunger," is in honor of his late brother, the late former U.S. Sen. Paul Simon, who directed SIUC's Public Policy Institute from its inception in 1997 until his death in December 2003.

Simon's lecture is set for 7 p.m., Feb. 7, in SIUC Student Center Ballroom D. The Public Policy Institute is sponsoring the lecture. Admission is free.

"Paul and Art Simon were brothers, co-authors and kindred spirits," Public Policy Institute Director Mike Lawrence said. "Rev. Simon's commitments to fighting world hunger and advancing the cause of peace are unflagging, and I know those who attend his lecture will find him thoughtful and inspirational."

Art Simon is founder and president emeritus of Bread for the World, the nation's leading citizen's lobby against hunger. Bread for the World is a nonpartisan citizens' movement of 55,000 people of faith, including 2,500 churches. More than 45 denominations and church agencies support the organization.

Simon served for almost two decades as its chief executive officer before retiring. He directed the Washington office of Christian Children's Fund from 1992 to 1997.

Simon, 74, is an ordained Lutheran minister. He pastored Trinity Lutheran Church on New York City's lower east side – a densely populated low-income area – from 1961 to 1972. Bread for the World, founded in 1972 as a local organization, became the nation's premier citizen lobby against hunger two years later.

Simon's 1984 book, "Bread for the World," won the National Religious Book Award. The late Nobel Prize economist Gunner Myrdal described it as a "clear and convincing" analysis of world hunger.

Here are some current statistics on hunger, both domestically and internationally, according to Bread for the World:

  • More than 800 million people in the world go hungry.
  • In developing countries, 6 million children die each year, mostly from hunger-related causes.
  • In the United States, 36.3 million people, including13 million children, live in households where meals are skipped to make ends meet. More than one in 10 households live with hunger or at the risk of hunger.
  • The United Nations Development Program estimates that the basic health and nutrition needs of the world's poorest people could be met for an added $13 billion a year – animal lovers in the U.S. and Europe annually spend more than that on pet food.

Rev. Simon is the author of numerous books. With his late brother Paul, he co-authored "The Politics of World Hunger," in 1973. His most recent book, written in 2003, is "How Much Is Enough? Hungering for God in an Affluent Culture." His next book, "Rediscovering the Lord's Prayer," is set for publication this spring. He has had articles featured in The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic, The Christian Century, and World Vision, and in dozens of major newspapers.

For more information, contact the Public Policy Institute at 618/453-4009.

Developing citizen-leaders with global perspectives is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.