For I Was Hungry & You Gave Me Food, November 2003

The document Catholic Reflections on Food, Farmers, and Farmworkers was developed by the Committee on Domestic Policy of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). It was approved by the full body of bishops at its November 2003 General Meeting and has been authorized for publication by the undersigned.

Msgr. William P. Fay
General Secretary, USCCB


Pastoral Reflection

  1. Introduction
  2. Our Purposes and Key Questions
  3. Agricultural “Signs of the Times”
  4. Our Faith Tradition
    Catholic Social Teaching
  5. Responding in Faith
    Meeting Pastoral Needs
    Criteria for Agricultural Policy and Advocacy
    • Overcoming Hunger and Poverty
    • Providing a Safe, Affordable, and Sustainable Food Supply
    • Ensuring a Decent Life for Farmers and Farmworkers
    • Sustaining and Strengthening Rural Communities
    • Protecting God’s Creation
    • Expanding Participation
  6. Toward Commitment, Hope, and Challenge
    Continuing Commitment
    A Word of Hope
    The Challenge Ahead

Catholic Social Teaching and Agriculture
1. Protecting Human Life and Dignity—The Right to Food
2. Social Nature of the Person—The Call to Family, Community, and Participation
3. Option for and with the Poor and Vulnerable
4. Dignity of Work and the Rights and Duties of Workers and Owners
5. Solidarity
6. Respect for Creation

A Catholic Agenda for Action: Pursuing a More Just Agricultural System
  1. U.S. Farmers and Farm Policies
  2. U.S. Agricultural Workers
  3. International Trade, Aid, and Development
  4. Emerging Technologies
  5. Stewardship of Creation

Final Note

Data Boxes

  • U.S. Agriculture:  What Is Happening to Farms and Farmers?
  • Concentration and Vertical Integration:  What Is Happening to Our Food from Field to Shelf?
  • Rural America:  What Is Happening to Rural Communities and Culture?
  • Global Agriculture:  What Is Happening to Hungry People and Farmers Around the World?
  • New Technologies, New Questions:  What Are the Opportunities and Problems in New Agricultural Technologies?
  • Agriculture and Environment:  What Is Happening to Land and Water?
  • Agricultural Workers:  What Is Happening to Those Who Harvest and Process Our Food?

Scripture texts used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, copyright © 1991, 1986, and 1970 by the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, DC 20017 and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2003, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Inc., Washington, D.C. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright holder.

Catholic Reflections on Food, Farmers, and Farmworkers is available in print editions in English and Spanish and may be ordered by calling toll-free 800-235‑8722. Ask for publication number 5‑603 (English), 5-903 (Spanish). Para ordenar este recurso en español, llame al 800-235-8722 y presione 4 para hablar con un representante del servicio al cliente, en español.