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MCC U.S. Washington Office announces winners of 10th essay contest

Kaia Vereide
March 5, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This year's winner of the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) U.S. Washington Office essay contest for Anabaptist high school students likened the challenges of the global food crisis to Jesus' example of feeding the 5,000.

Johnny Kauffman of Bethany Christian High School in Goshen, Ind., wrote the winning essay: "The Global Food Crisis: Feeding the 6,700,000,000." Kauffman explained that the dangers in the economically developing world posed by food aid, cheap imports, climate change, and the use of biofuels, affects all 6,700,000,000 people in the world.

The three suggested topics this year, the tenth for the essay contest, were U.S. energy policy, gun laws and the global food crisis.

The contest is open to high school students from MCC constituent denominations, as well as students attending Mennonite high schools. Committees in MCC regional offices and the MCC U.S. Washington Office select the winners.

Using Jesus' example of feeding the 5,000, Kauffman urged Christians to, "Take another look at this passage as food shortages and rampant food price increases occur throughout the world, giving the followers of Jesus another multitude to feed."

Students demonstrated concern for how an Anabaptist perspective applies to U.S. policy on a variety of pressing issues by choosing to write on topics other than the suggested ones.

Honorable mentions were given to three students. Lindsay Waltner of Freeman (S.D.) Academy discussed gun violence in "Life or Death." Erin Helmuth, also of Bethany Christian School, proposed "An Energy Policy for All Americans." Jacob Brubaker of Western Mennonite High School in Salem, Ore., wrote on "Global Warming and the Threat It Poses."

The MCC U.S. Washington Office is a Mennonite and Brethren in Christ presence on Capitol Hill providing and encouraging prophetic witness to the way of Christ on matters of U.S. public policy.

For more information on the essays go to