Bread.org Article Edwardsville Intelligencer

Durbin honored for relief efforts

Local woman attends hunger-free event

By Megan McCalla on June 23, 2006
Edwardsville Intelligencer
U.S. Senator Richard Durbin is no stranger in helping to alleviate the world of its troubles.  After all, he has been the lead sponsor in the bipartisan Hunger Free Communities Act, introduced in May, 2005, as well as working hard as an advocate for aid focused on international poverty.
His efforts were recognized further on June 13, when he was presented with an award by the Bread for the World Organization at a lobby day reception on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
Also attending the event was Edwardsville resident Jane Klopfenstein, who has been involved with the Bread for the World organization for the past 30 years.
The program was first brought to her attention at a women's meeting at her church—St. John’s United Methodist Church in Edwardsville, Klopfenstein said.
Bread for the World is a Christian group that works to end hunger and poverty in the United States and the world by lobbying Congress.  The organization has been around since 1974, and is led by Rev. David Beckmann.
Currently the group is working on a program to increase spending for "poverty focused development assistance." which was the major emphasis of this years lobby day.
"Hunger is an enormous problem," Klopfenstein said.
With an estimated 11 million children under the age of five dying every year from a problem related to hunger, they have a big job under way.
The worst hunger problems are in Africa, south of the Sahara, and it is getting worse, she said.
"This is bigger than any kind of charity can tackle," Klopfenstein said.
Klopfenstein has attended several lobby days in Washington, although she does not go every year. 
This year, about half a dozen congressional leaders, representatives and senators from both political parties were honored along with Durbin.  Durbin was given the award for taking a leadership position on hunger issues, specifically for how he has helped to get more funding for hunger programs.
Klopfenstein returned home from Washington only a few days ago, and said she came back enthused and more determined than ever to continue the fight against hunger.
She lives in Edwardsville with her husband, William.  They have one daughter, a son-in-law, and one grandson. 

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