2006.04.16: April 16, 2006: Headlines: Figures: COS - Thailand: Diplomacy: Hunger: Oxford Press: Tony Hall writes "Changing the Face of Hunger: One Man's Story of How Liberals, Conservatives, Democrats, Republicans and People of Faith are Joining Forces to Help The Hungry, The Poor, The Oppressed"

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Thailand: Special Report: RPCV Tony Hall: Tony Hall: Newest Stories: 2006.04.16: April 16, 2006: Headlines: Figures: COS - Thailand: Diplomacy: Hunger: Oxford Press: Tony Hall writes "Changing the Face of Hunger: One Man's Story of How Liberals, Conservatives, Democrats, Republicans and People of Faith are Joining Forces to Help The Hungry, The Poor, The Oppressed"

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Tony Hall writes "Changing the Face of Hunger: One Man's Story of How Liberals, Conservatives, Democrats, Republicans and People of Faith are Joining Forces to Help The Hungry, The Poor, The Oppressed"

Tony Hall writes Changing the Face of Hunger: One Man's Story of How Liberals, Conservatives, Democrats, Republicans and People of Faith are Joining Forces to Help The Hungry, The Poor, The Oppressed

"Tony is a walking sermon," he said. "He doesn't lecture people about how to do things, but he tends to lead by example." Despite his years working on the issues, Hall said he sees little difference in Congress from the early 1990s, when the House shut down his committee on hunger. "There are a lot of very, very good people there, but they spend so much time on things that keep them so busy," he said. "And what they produce is not so much." Former Congressman Tony Hall of Ohio, now ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture, served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Thailand in the 1960's.

Tony Hall writes "Changing the Face of Hunger: One Man's Story of How Liberals, Conservatives, Democrats, Republicans and People of Faith are Joining Forces to Help The Hungry, The Poor, The Oppressed"

For former House member Hall, a journey to end hunger

By JESSICA WEHRMAN
Cox News Service

Sunday, April 16, 2006

WASHINGTON On the day 13 years ago when then-U.S. Rep. Tony Hall boarded a flight from Washington, D.C. to his hometown of Dayton for Congress' annual Easter/Passover work period, he stewed with anxiety.

Angry about Congress' decision to eliminate the House Select Committee on Hunger, which he chaired, Hall had decided to fast as a way to draw attention both to hunger and to the House's decision to eliminate the committee. Now, during the hour-long flight to Ohio, he worried: Could he physically do it? Would he appear foolish? Would his constituents support him?

In Dayton, 300 people gathered in the city's Courthouse Square to demonstrate solidarity. About 400 students, parents and teachers from Dayton's Chaminade-Julienne Catholic High School promised to forgo at least one meal, as did some 40 University of Dayton students. The media paid keen attention.

"And the next three weeks turned out to be a triumph beyond my wildest imagination," he said.

Hall recounts that story and others in "Changing the Face of Hunger: One Man's Story of How Liberals, Conservatives, Democrats, Republicans and People of Faith are Joining Forces to Help The Hungry, The Poor, The Oppressed." The book, published by Thomas Nelson, Inc.'s W Publishing Group, is available at major bookstores and on Amazon.com April 18.

Hall, a House member from 1979 to 2002 who was three times nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, wrote his book with former Dayton Daily News reporter Tom Price based on extensive journals he kept while a member of Congress.

Hall, who recently left his post as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture in Rome, began keeping the journals after his father died. The journals were initially aimed at his own children and future grandchildren, but after he left Congress, he began to consider the idea of organizing them in a book.

Originally, he tried to write the book himself. But in a 2002 lunch with Price, he admitted his effort didn't flow as easily as he would have liked. Price read his journals and reported back to him: He did, in fact, have a book.

The result is a detailed journey through Hall's travels as a member of Congress, where he was spurred to begin working on hunger issues during a jarring trip to Ethiopia in 1984. During that trip, Hall recalls, he visited a camp run by the World Vision Christian relief organization, where he watched in shock as one doctor picked six or seven children out of hundreds to save. Some parents, desperate to help their children, thrust them into Hall's and the doctor's arms. Hall thought of his own children, then eight and four, and had to put on his sunglasses to hide his tears.

Thus began a quest where Hall, frequently helped by U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, a Republican colleague from Virginia, began working in earnest on hunger issues. Their journey took them to Sudan, Romania, North Korea and other nations in an effort to fight hunger. It also took him to his own Ohio community, where Hall began discussing hunger in the United States.

Hall, who is still weighing what he'll do now that his ambassadorship is over, will embark this week on a book tour that will send him to cities including New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Kansas City, Colorado Springs, Chicago, and finally, Dayton.

Price, Hall's coauthor, said the book will likely send two messages: That people of faith are called upon to serve the poor. And that public officials can get more done by focusing on what they agree on, rather than what they disagree on.

"Tony is a walking sermon," he said. "He doesn't lecture people about how to do things, but he tends to lead by example."

Despite his years working on the issues, Hall said he sees little difference in Congress from the early 1990s, when the House shut down his committee on hunger. "There are a lot of very, very good people there, but they spend so much time on things that keep them so busy," he said. "And what they produce is not so much."

He said the atmosphere has become "so polarized, so partisan, so mean-spirited," that when he meets old friends from the House, they tell him he is lucky not to serve there anymore.

Hall, a Democrat, hopes, in part, his stories of his bipartisan work with Wolf might spur political parties to look for common ground, rather than focus on differences.

And Hall said he hopes the book draws attention to hunger issues, which he believes have been crowded out of the limelight by the war and countless other issues.

"It's very, very hard to get attention on this," he said. "This issue doesn't have lobbyists."

Jessica Wehrman is a Washington correspondent for Cox Newspapers.





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Story Source: Oxford Press

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