FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                      

June 30, 2015                                                                                                                    


Chris Ford, Bread for the World, (202) 688-1077,

Michael Mershon, Sojourners, (202) 745-4625,

Sarah Kropp, National Association of Evangelicals,


Religious Leaders Urge New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to Make Hunger and Poverty a Priority

Washington, D.C., June 30, 2015 – As New Jersey governor Chris Christie launches his presidential campaign today, the Circle of Protection is asking him to record a video telling Americans what he would do to provide help and opportunity for hungry and poor people if elected.

“We are praying for a president who will make ending hunger and poverty a top priority of his or her administration. Are you that leader?” asked more than 100 religious leaders in a letter sent to Christie. They asked him to record his answer in a three-minute video. Christie is seeking the Republican nomination for president.

“As national leaders from all the major branches of Christianity, we care deeply about many issues facing our country, but ending hunger and poverty is a top priority,” the religious leaders wrote.

Throughout the world, many countries have dramatically reduced the incidence of hunger. However, in the United States, 49.1 million Americans, including 18.1 million children, do not know where their next meal is coming from. In New Jersey, more than 998,500 people live in poverty, including more than one in six children. In 2013, 11.4 percent of New Jersey households were at risk of hunger.

The Circle of Protection will broadly publicize the presidential candidate’s video among churches and the public. The Circle of Protection will not evaluate the presidential candidates’ policy positions or endorse any candidate.

The Circle of Protection will call on people of faith to examine the presidential candidates’ proposals to address poverty both at home and abroad, and to consider the mandate to those who govern to “give deliverance to the needy” (Psalm 72).

“The calling to public service is a sacred vocation. We hold you, and all of the candidates for nomination and election, in our prayers,” they added.



The Circle of Protection is composed of Christian leaders who are heads of denominations, agencies, and organizations. To learn more, visit