Global Nutrition

Ending hunger around the world is not just about providing people with enough food – it’s also about providing the right nutrients. Globally, 155 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 2.6 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 in 2016 launched its Global Nutrition Coordination Plan to better enable collaboration across the federal government on global nutrition research and programs.

The U.S. government’s global food security initiative, Feed the Future, serves as an important vehicle for implementing these strategies and plans. Through Feed the Future and other initiatives, the U.S. government has helped free 1.8 million more children from the devastating consequences of stunting. All of these efforts, along with robust funding for nutrition programs, will help us meet our commitment toward reducing stunting by 40 percent by 2025.

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

from our Resource Library

For Education

For Faith

  • Unity Declaration on Racism and Poverty

    A diverse body of Christian leaders calls on the churches and Congress to focus on the integral connection.

    Dear Members of Congress,

    As the president and Congress are preparing their plans for this year, almost 100 church leaders—from all the families of U.S. Christianity—are...

  • In Times Like These … A Pan-African Christian Devotional for Public Policy Engagement

    This devotional guide invites deepened relationship with and among Pan-Af­rican people and elected leaders in the mission to end hunger and poverty.

  • Sermon by David Beckmann at Duke University Chapel

    Remarks delivered October 1, 2017 at Duke University Chapel in Chapel Hill in North Carolina.

    Thank you for inviting me to preach here at Duke University Chapel. And I especially want to thank the Bread for the World members who have come this morning.

    Bruce Puckett urged...

For Advocacy

  • U.S. Hunger and Poverty State Fact Sheets

    These fact sheets provide a snapshot of hunger and poverty in the United States and in each state plus Washington, D.C. 

  • Fact Sheet: Hunger by the Numbers

    In 2017, 11.8 percent of households in the U.S.—40 million people—were food-insecure, meaning that they were unsure at some point during the year about how they would provide for their next meal.

  • Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2017

    Unnecessarily long prison sentences, combined with the lack of rehabilitative programs for people in prison, exacerbate hunger, poverty, and existing inequalities.

    Overly harsh mandatory minimum prison sentences have contributed to the rapid increase of our country’s prison population. The...


Changing Climate, Changing Farmers

February 7, 2017


April 10, 2018

The Jobs Challenge

From the Blog