Mission Statement of CAP
CAP Volunteer Fair
CAP Early Childhood Education Pilot Project
The Community Against Poverty (CAP) coalition was convened by the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) in early 2008 as an outgrowth of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs “There Shall Be No Needy Among You” initiative.
Mission Statement of CAP:
Community Against Poverty (CAP) is a broad-based coalition of St. Louis area interfaith and civic organizations coordinated by the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC). The problems of poverty run deep in our nation. Poverty impacts the ability of individuals and families to live their lives with dignity. Poverty impacts the ability of individuals to obtain quality education for their children; to meet basic needs for food, clothing and shelter; to find living wage jobs; to live in a safe and healthy environment; and to access quality, affordable healthcare.
CAP is dedicated to combating poverty through education, advocacy and service.
Currently, the following organizations are members of the CAP Coalition, in addition to the JCRC:
Bread for the World
Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of St. Louis
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Missouri
Interfaith Partnership of Greater St. Louis
Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis
Jewish Family & Children’s Service
National Council of Jewish Women-St. Louis Section
Operation Food Search
Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy
St. Louis Clergy Coalition
Women’s Voices Raised for Social Justice
CLOSE TO 50 JEWISH, MUSLIM AND CHRISTIAN TEENS PARTICIPATE CAP HUNGER TASK FORCE EVENT "HUNGER SPEAKS" PROGRAM WITH OPERATION FOOD SEARCH
On Sunday November 15, close to 50 area teens of different faiths attended two separate presentations from Operation Food Search (one in the morning, one in the afternoon) on the topic of "Hunger Speaks." Uutilizing videos and discussion questions to educate young people about the extent of the problem of food insecurity in our region, the program also included a call to action: writing and signing postcards to Rep. Ann Wagner and Sen. Claire McCaskill in support of a strong Child Nutrition Reauthorization Bill. Resource materials about how to volunteer, donate and advocate about hunger also were provided. Teens in the afternoon session also made PB & J sandwiches for clients of The Bridge, an organization that provides support to the homeless and hungry. The morning program took place at Congregation B'nai Amoona. The afternoon program took place at Ladue Chapel.
This event was sponsored by the Community Against Poverty (CAP) Hunger Task Force.
Some photos from the day are below.
CAP CO-SPONSORS SUCCESSFUL PROGRAM WITH WOMEN'S VOICES RAISED FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE AND NCJW ON FERGUSON
On April 16, 2015, the CAP Coalition co-sponsored the forum "Eigth Month Post-Ferguson: The Journey from Recovery to Rebuilding." Panelists included Rev. Starsky Wilson, President and CEO of Deaconess Foundation and Co-Chair of the Ferguson Commission, Todd Swanstrom, Public Policy Professor at University of Missouri-St. Louis, and Gregory Carr, Professor at Harris-Stowe State University. All spoke about next steps as our region works to ensure racial equity in the wake of the tragic events of August 2014 in Ferguson. Those attending also heard the perspective of young people through comments made by several Harris Stowe students. Below is a photo of the panelists and those on the organizing committee for the event.
HUNGER SEDER CO-SPONSORED BY CAP HUNGER TASK FORCE A BIG SUCCESS
Approximately 120 people of different faiths attended the 2015 Community Interfaith Hunger Seder. This year's Seder focused on childhood hunger and was led by Rabbi Josef Davidson of Congregation B'nai Amoona. Those participating heard a call to action by Gary Wells of Operation Food Search and signed postcards to Senator Roy Blunt in support of a strong bill as part of Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR). The Child Nutrition bill supports programs like free and reduced price school breakfasts and lunches and after school and summer feeding programs.
Thanks to the Jewish Council for Public Affairs and MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger for their support of the Hunger Seder. Below are a few photos from this year's Seder, co-sponsored with Ladue Chapel Presbyterian Church (USA). Ladue Chapel hosted this year's event.
JCRC/CAP Volunteers Help Refurbish "God's Creation" Preschool in North Saint Louis City
On December 14 and 21, 2014, members of the CAP Early Childhood Committee joined with others in the Jewish community to paint the interior of "God's Creation" early learning center in North Saint Louis City as part of the "Helping Our Community's Children Flourish" Project. CAP volunteers joined with staff at the school to make these physical improvements so that the center can remain licensed. There will be additional ways to help the school in the coming months. Some photos from the painting project are below.
Read the article in the January 18 St. Louis Post-Dispatch about the volunteer project and the work of the CAP ECE committee, which can be found here
7th Annual Community Against Poverty Volunteer Fair A Success
On Sunday September 28, over 125 people turned out for the 7th Annual CAP Volunteer Fair at The Heights. Those attending heard a pre-event interactive presentation on the beneifts of giving back from local author Alan Spector. Theyalso visited with dozens of agencies helping people living in poverty. Thanks to this year's co-sponsors (in addition to JCRC): Bread for the World, Eden Seminary Social Justice Council; Interfaith Partnership of Greater St. Louis; International Institute; Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis; Jewish Family & Children's Service; Mid-East Area Agency on Aging; Missouri Association for Social Welfare; National Council of Jewish Women-St. Louis Section; Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy; Ready Readers; St. Louis Metropolitan Clergy Coalition; Women's Voices Raised for Social Justice.
Below are photos from this year's event, which was co-chaired by Louise Levine and Ruth Schachter.
Interactive Presentation by Alan Spector.
Potential volunteer meets with a representative of Ready Readers.
"The Incredible Shrinking Middle Class"
Draws Large Audience To Learn More About Income Inequality
America is one of the richest, most technologically advanced nations on the planet. However, the typical American household enjoys a standard of living no higher today than its counterpart 25 years ago. The level of poverty is also about the same. About 200 people attended this program to hear Mark Rank, Ph.D., Herbert S. Hadley Professor of Social Work at Washington University,
Robert Soutier, President, Greater St. Louis Labor Council, AFL-CIO and
Mary Ann McGivern, writer and founder of the Peace Economy Project, speak on the topic of income inequality in America. Those attending learned that disparities in income have greatly increased in this country over the past 40 years. They also learned more about "right to work" laws and how these have a negative economic impact on working people. The speakers also discussed the need to focus on the American values of working for the common good and working to insure access to economic mobility as a way to engage more Americans to talk action against increasing income inequality.
This event was presented by Women's Voices Raised for Social Justice and co-sponsored by the CAP Coalition and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. Rev. Rudy Pulido was the moderator.
PHOTOS FROM THE EVENT
Pictured below are Professor Mark Rank, Bob Soutier, and a group shot of the audience.
Hundreds Attend Hunger Awareness Week Events
As a follow up to it January 2013 forum “Where Charity and Justice Meet: Fighting Poverty in Saint Louis,” The CAP Hunger Task Force joined forces with many area anti-hunger organizations to present “Saint Louis Hunger Awareness Week 2013.” From October 11-18, there were a range of community events focused on providing food to those in need, raising money for local food pantries and educating the public about the ways to help in the fight against hunger. Activities included the annual CROP Anti-Hunger Walk at Eden Seminary on October 13, two lectures and a lunch meeting for students with speaker Rev. David Beckmann, President of Bread for the World on October 14 and 15, and a showing of the film "A Place at The Table" at Saint Louis University on World Food Day, Wednesday October 16. Shown below are several photos from the CROP Walk along with a photo from another Hunger Week event focused on Hunger and Health and co-sponsored by CAP Agency Missouri Associaiton for Social Welfare.
Attendees also signed post cards and petitions to members of Congress opposing any cuts to the food stamp program in the 2013 Farm Bill or in the federal budget.
Sponsors for Hunger Awareness Week Were: Bread for the World; Community Against Poverty (CAP) Coalition, coordinated by JCRC; Church World Service; Jewish Family & Children’s Service; Missouri Association for Social Welfare, Operation Food Search, and Saint Louis University
Read the article in the Saint Louis Beacon about Hunger Awareness Week:
Hunger Awareness Week Article
75 people attended the second annual Interfaith Hunger Seder organized by JCRC and Saint Louis University’s Center for Service and Community Engagement. The Seder took place on Tuesday March 19 and was part of a national Hunger Seder Mobilization coordinated by the Jewish Council for Public Affairs and MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger. The Seder was lead by Rabbi Josef Davidson, Adjunct Rabbi at Congregation B’nai Amoona. Father Paul Stark of SLU gave the invocation. Students from SLU’s Interfaith Alliance presented readings on hunger from different faith traditions. Those attending also wrote postcards to their US Senators asking that funds be restored to the Federal WIC program which helps low-income women and children.
On Friday January 18, 2013 over 60 anti-hunger advocates and direct service providers attended “Where Justice and Charity Meet: Fighting Hunger in Saint Louis.” CAP was a co-sponsor of this program. Those attending heard from keynote speaker Jeanette Mott Oxford, Executive Director of the Missouri Association for Social Welfare (MASW). Mott Oxford emphasized that both individual acts of charity and advocacy for laws that improve the safety net for the hungry are needed. Additional speakers included Josh Protas, Director of Government Relations for MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, Sunny Schaefer, Executive Director of Operation Food Search, Frank Finnegan, Executive Director of the Saint Louis Area Foodbank, and David Sykora, Director of the Saint Louis Area Agency on Aging. The forum concluded with breakout sessions on networking and advocacy.
Read more about the problem of hunger and the CAP Hunger Forum in the St. Louis Beacon