Global Nutrition

Ending hunger around the world is not just about providing people with enough food — the calories. It’s also about providing the right nutrients. Globally, 165 million children are stunted and will not have the chance to achieve their full potential because of poor nutrition early in life. 

In order to prevent the nearly 3 million childhood deaths each year that result from malnutrition, addressing the 1,000 days between a woman’s pregnancy and her child’s second birthday is crucial.  With the right nutrition during this period, we can ensure healthy body and brain development, stronger immune systems, more years of education, and a higher lifetime earning potential for millions of children. 

In fact, studies show that children who get proper nutrition before their second birthday:

  • are 10 times more likely to overcome the most life-threatening childhood diseases
  • complete 4.6 more grades of school
  • go on to earn 21 percent more in wages as adults.

They are also more likely to have healthier families, breaking the generational cycle of malnutrition. Recent analysis has also shown that for every $1 invested in improving nutrition in a country, $16 is returned to the economy there.

The U.S. government plays a crucial role in the fight to end maternal and child malnutrition, and our nation's continued commitment is key to ending this global scourge. Ending malnutrition stretches beyond improving access to and availability of nutritious foods. It also involves other development areas including agriculture, education, health, social protection, water, sanitation, hygiene, and women’s empowerment.

Recognizing the importance of integrating of all these sectors, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) released a Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Strategy in 2014 as a roadmap toward reducing child stunting and ending preventable maternal and child deaths.

The U.S. government’s global food security initiative, Feed the Future, serves as an important vehicle for implementing the USAID Nutrition Strategy. Through Feed the Future and other initiatives, we can reduce the number of stunted children by 2 million — a 20 percent reduction over five years. All of these efforts, along with robust funding for nutrition programs, will help us meet our commitment toward reducing stunting by 40 percent over the next two decades.

The Importance of Getting the Right Nutrition at the Right Time. Infographic by Doug Puller / Bread for the World

Tools
from our Resource Library

For Education

  • The Nourishing Effect

    Hunger and food insecurity add at least $160 billion a year to U.S. healthcare costs.

  • Fact Sheet: The Hunger-Medicaid Connection

    Congress is considering proposals that would jeopardize healthcare coverage for millions of poor and near-poor adults and children. 

    The bill under consideration, the American Health Care Act, would gut...

  • Budget 101: Block Grants, Flexibility, and Per Capita Caps

    Recent congressional budget proposals and plans to reduce poverty include options for changing the structure of current social programs from “entitlements,” which provide sufficient funding to address the needs of everyone who meets the eligibility requirements to “block grants,” which provide...

For Faith

  • The Bible on Health as a Hunger Issue

    A brief examination of the biblical approach to health as a hunger issue.

    Includes an introduction to the issue, a Scriptural reflection, practical actions you can take, and a prayer.

  • Bread Newsletter January 2016

    In this issue: Another Great Year for Bread; Catholics Begin Observance of Holy Year of Mercy; Serving on ‘God’s Wave Length’ for 39 Years; and more.
     

  • Interfaith Religious Leaders’ Pledge to End Hunger

    A wide array of the nation’s faith leaders have come together on the eve of Pope Francis’ arrival in the United States to commit ourselves to encourage our communities to work for the end of hunger by 2030 and, toward that end, for a shift in U.S. national priorities.

    We are deeply pleased...

For Advocacy

  • Grassroots Advocacy Toolkit

    A set of how-to sheets for carrying out advocacy and fact sheets on the current issues Bread for the World is working on.

    For new and current Bread grassroots hunger activists.

    Ideal as a starter toolkit for new Bread activists or as a set of updates for current activists.

    ...

  • Fact Sheet: The Hunger-Medicaid Connection

    Congress is considering proposals that would jeopardize healthcare coverage for millions of poor and near-poor adults and children. 

    The bill under consideration, the American Health Care Act, would gut...

  • Bingo card for the presidential and vice presidential debates

    Play bingo while you watch the presidential and vice presidential debates!

    We want to elect leaders who make ending hunger and poverty a priority, so we are encouraging candidates to talk about these...