Research

In order to solve a problem, it’s important to know its causes. Research helps identify the root causes of hunger and strategies to end it that have worked in the past.

Research is also a way of gathering information and knowledge. And in our day and age, information is power.

Bread views research as a way of actively engaging decision makers and others on the issue of hunger. It’s not all academic or theoretical. For example, Bread’s briefing papers and annual Hunger Report always include recommendations for ending hunger. These are specific steps that will bring improvements in real life.

Bread uses research as a tool to help the federal government make educated decisions. Leaders need both the facts and an assessment of what those facts mean. This information makes it easier to see the implications of various decisions. Our research asks and answers questions like:

  • How does current policy affect hungry people?
  • Is this policy moving in the right direction — toward eliminating the causes of hunger?

Research also helps Bread members and partners reach out to others as hunger advocates. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a conversation with church members or a high school government class. It’s easier to engage other people when we’re confident that:

  • we have the right information
  • we can communicate our message clearly
Photo: Joe Molieri/Bread for the World

How does our research happen?

Here’s an example: Most of the information in Bread’s materials comes from trusted outside sources. Suppose that a researcher interviews farmers in India. They say their top priority is building storage facilities. Currently, a lot of their harvested crops spoil before they can be brought to market.

Another researcher wants to learn how farmers who support their families by selling their crops at market are able to do it. How are they different from farmers who try but can’t? She gathers detailed information from people in both groups about their farming practices. It turns out that one difference between the groups is that the successful farmers have a way to store their harvested crops.

Americans who are concerned about hunger don’t have the time or inclination to read these studies. Even if they did, how could they know whether the research is valid? What if most other research didn’t reach these conclusions?

A lot of other questions arise. For example:

  • Is storage a top concern for most farmers? Or is it mainly a priority among people who grow certain crops, or people with the fewest resources, or some other group?
  • Could the problem of spoilage have other solutions that are simpler or less expensive? Maybe there’s a way to get crops to market faster.

Even for policymakers, it’s impossible to evaluate so much complex information. So Bread staff talk with experts and sift through research. They evaluate how important an issue is in the larger context of ending hunger. In the example above, investing in crop storage facilities for smallholder farmers could become one of Bread’s recommendations. In their advocacy, Bread members would use the information supplied by Bread to tell policymakers that crop storage, along with other issues identified through research, is an important concern for hungry people overseas.

"An intelligent mind acquires knowledge."

Proverbs 18:15

Violence and the Immigration Crisis. Infographic by Doug Puller / Bread for the World

Issue Insight: Immigration

Bread for the World sees global progress against poverty as progress against hunger as well. One of the major reasons people leave their home countries is to escape poverty and improve their livelihoods.

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...