Hunger and the Coronavirus

The world is living through unprecedented times. The coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing anxiety, uncertainty, and disruption. As is often the case, people living in hunger and poverty are likely to suffer the most. Though we may feel powerless and overwhelmed, we are not. Now is the time to heed God’s call to care for the “least among us.”

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Take Action

We applaud Congress and the Trump administration for the near-unanimous passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES).

While the package includes many important provisions to help people affected by COVID-19, much more is needed to ensure the most vulnerable families have the support they need.

Congress should boost Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) maximum benefits by 15 percent and suspend all rulemaking that would limit access to SNAP to ensure vulnerable populations in the U.S. have access to the resources they need.

Urge your senators and representatives to increase SNAP benefits to help families cope with the economic downturn that is accompanying efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Write to Congress Now

COVID-19, Hunger, and its Consequences for the most Vulnerable

The Role of Congress

  • Individuals and organizations cannot mobilize the resources that the U.S. government can to support the 1 in 8 Americans who live at risk of hunger.
  • Federal nutrition programs provide roughly 10 times as much food assistance as private churches and charities.
  • Congress must go beyond food assistance to provide supports that enable families to be self-reliant.
  • Funding for domestic and global nutrition programs are needed now more than ever.
  • Future legislation needs to support U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Department of State to help curb the global pandemic.

Response from Congress

Response from Bread for the World

Bread Responses with Coalition Partners

Church and Community Resources

Connect with Your Regional Organizer

During the public health crisis, Bread for the World organizers will keep you informed and connected at the regional level. To connect with your regional organizer, find upcoming online meetings and learn how you can make an impact in your community, visit our activist page.

The Role of Faith During a Pandemic

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread globally, we appeal ever more strongly to our God, who is a God of hope and healing. This Lenten season, we are reminded to return time and again to our God, who is with us, who loves us, who shares our concerns, and who yearns for our good health, safety, and flourishing.

And so, in confidence we pray for God’s healing Spirit to hover over every inch of this world:

God of Mercy and Grace,

You have called us from the east and from the west, from the south and from the north to be your body in this world. Keep us connected through you even in our physical distance.

We come to you trusting that you are our refuge and our strength, our very present help in trouble.

We pray for people who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and for the family and medical staff who surround them in care.

We pray for those who are most vulnerable to this disease, whether from underlying health conditions or other contributing factors. May they rest in your peace and protection.

We pray for healthcare workers and people on the front lines of this disease. For workers who are in essential roles to keep our communities going. Keep them healthy; keep them safe.

We pray for parents and children who are struggling with this new normal of homeschool, especially those who rely on school meal programs. We pray for everyone struggling with these rapid changes. May we be comforted by your peace and your presence.

We pray for people who face hate and discrimination brought on by fear and anger. May these your beloved children feel your embrace.

We pray for those whose actions are motivated by fear and anger. May they remember that you are a God of abundance.

We pray for our leaders. May they be guided by your wisdom. May they be courageous and make the bold decisions necessary to end this pandemic.

And we pray for all the advocates and the volunteers who are responding to your call to care for the people who are most vulnerable in our communities and around the world. Give them endurance. Stir them with your longing for justice. May they be comforted and moved by your Holy Spirit.

It is in the strong name of Jesus that we do pray. Amen.

Throughout this crisis, we return in prayer time and again to our loving God, who yearns for our good health, safety, and flourishing. Sign up for Prayers to End Hunger and receive prayer resources by email every other Friday.

Support Advocacy for the Most Vulnerable

Your gift today will help hold Congress accountable to provide funding to assist those who will be hit the hardest by the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Please support this critical work with a special gift today.

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"Just as you did it to the least of these ... you did it to me."

Matthew 25:40

from our Resource Library

For Education

  • Election Resources

    One of the best times to raise the issues of hunger and poverty is during election campaigns. Engage candidates in your state/district on hunger and poverty using our elections resources.
  • 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. 

  • Conflict and Fragility Are Hunger Issues

    Conflict is a main driver of the recent increase in hunger around the world and of forced migration. Hunger also contributes to conflict.

For Faith

  • The Bible on Health as a Hunger Issue

    “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in faith.” These words from Colossians 2:6 remind us of the faith that is active in love for our neighbors.

    The Bible on...

  • 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.

For Advocacy


African at Heart

November 22, 2019


From the Blog