The New Testament parable of the loaves and fishes shows Jesus feeding the hungry, and Christians over the centuries have expressed their beliefs by following his example to serve the impoverished. “There is nothing new about this activism,” says R. David Nelson, senior acquisitions editor for Baker Academic and Brazos Press. “People of faith have long been on the front line of the war against poverty and food insecurity.” This year, a crop of books tell how such activists are addressing the persistence of poverty and hunger in America.

Trust First: A True Story of Transformation in Atlanta’s Toughest Zip Code

By Bruce Deel with Sara Grace (Optimism, July)

Deel, a preacher, shares the story behind City of Refuge, a nonprofit he founded in Atlanta, Ga. in 1997 that provides transitional housing, onsite medical and mental health care, child care, and vocational training to help lift people out of poverty. Trust First also collects stories of men and women who have experienced homelessness, joblessness, and drug abuse. A portion of the book's proceeds will be donated to City of Refuge.

I Was Hungry: Cultivating Common Ground to End an American Crisis

By Jeremy K. Everett (Brazos, Aug.)

Everett, who served on the National Commission on Hunger and is the founder and executive director of the Texas Hunger Initiative, writes that one in eight Americans often goes hungry, and more than 13 million children live in homes where there is often not a consistent supply of food. The book analyzes the crisis and offers ways to address it. Brazos editor Nelson says, “[Everett] insists that all of us must work together across partisan, religious, and denominational lines to solve the crisis of food insecurity in America."

Bowery Mission: Grit and Grace on Manhattan's Oldest Street

By Jason Storbakken (Plough, Nov.)

Storbakken, a recent director of the Bowery Mission and pastor of the Manhattan Mennonite Fellowship, writes of his ministry of providing meals and other support to the homeless in New York City’s notorious neighborhood. The book traces the Bowery’s history and profiles some of its colorful characters, as well as offering guidance for policymakers and practical ideas for ministry. It releases on the Bowery Mission's 140th anniversary.

Jesus Economy: A Biblical View of Poverty, the Currency of Love, and a Pattern for Lasting Change

By John Barry (Whitaker House, Jan.)

Barry, a Bible scholar, describes his work with the impoverished, writing: “In 2012, my wife, Kalene, and I founded the international nonprofit Jesus’ Economy, dedicated to creating jobs and churches in the developing world… After years of prayer, we sold our house and nearly everything we owned, dedicating ourselves fully to spreading the gospel and alleviating poverty.” Barry was founding publisher of Lexham Press, an imprint of Faithlife Corporation / Logos Bible Software; he is donating all of the proceeds from the book to the Jesus' Economy organization.