Resolution on Surplus Food and the International Refugee Year - 1959

We who live in a land of abundant food, surroullded by great agricutural surpluses, have uneasy consciences as we face the fact that the majority of our fellow men in the world are underfed and many at times are even confronted with starvation. Although our brotherhood has engaged in relief programs which brought food and clothing to peoples in many countries, we confess our lack of sacrificial living in their behalf and pledge ourselves anew to the service of humanity in the name of Christ. We support in principle the measures before the Congress which would make greater use of agricultural surpluses in feeding and clothing the hungry and in raising the living standard around the world. It is our concern that American gifts and loans be distributed, not for political purposes, nor in a condescending spirit but rather on the basis of human need, regardless of the race, creed, or political views of the needy persons.

Through the years and especially in recent decades many Mennonites have been refugees, and as a consequence we are in a position to appreciate in part the tragedy still facing millions of homeless people. Although our relief agency, along with many other organizations, has assisted in the resettlement and rehabilitation of many refugees, we realize that the task still to be done is enormous. In this International Refugee Year we pledge ourselves to a renewed dedication to the task of bringing hope to these unfortunate persons. We urge that the laws and regulations of the United States dealing with the immigration of these homeless ones be so liberalized that a larger number may be admitted to this country yearly.

We urge the members of our brotherhood to share these concerns with their fellow citizens and particularly with the President and the members of the Congress. We pray that our country rnay adopt such measures as will enable America to play an increasingly larger role as a good neighbor in the family of nations.

Adopted by the Mennonite General Conference (MC), at the Thirty-First Mennonite General Conference, August 25-27, 1959, Goshen College, Goshen, Indiana, Proceedings, pp.12-13.