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Washington, D.C. – Bread for the World today urged lawmakers to enact COVID relief legislation without further delay and provide immediate relief for millions experiencing hunger due to the pandemic. The recent legislation passed by the House and Senate provides nutrition assistance for the 50 million people in the United States at risk of experiencing hunger this winter – including 11 million children. The organization also called on Congress to retain funding for global health and nutrition programs in the FY 2021 Omnibus bill, which are essential to our ongoing national security interests and domestic recovery from the pandemic and represent only 1% of the annual federal budget. The following statement can be attributed to Rev. Eugene Cho, president and CEO of Bread for the World:
“With hunger continually rising in the United States to historic levels and an average increase of 60% in the number of people seeking help at food banks across the country, we urge Congress to enact COVID relief legislation that will help keep millions of children and families from going hungry. Unemployment assistance has expired for the more than 12 million workers who have lost their jobs due to COVID – meaning they and their families will soon be facing hunger. Congress should act expeditiously and consider the legislation that earned the support of the vast majority of its members.
“It is also imperative that Congress provide immediate funding for global pandemic hunger and nutrition programs. The United Nations World Food Program warns extreme hunger could double, to 270 million people, by the end of 2020. An additional 168,000 children could die globally by 2022 due to hunger and malnutrition as a direct result of to COVID.
“As we close out this Christmas season and seek hope at the onset of a New Year, our hearts are with all those suffering. We pray and urge Congress for a quick resolution to this impasse so that struggling families in the U.S. are able to find some comfort knowing they can put food on the table. We also pray that lawmakers find the courage and will to pass funding for global pandemic hunger and nutrition programs. Christians are called on by God to help those in need. Our country cannot afford to deny relief to millions of people facing a hunger crisis and living in poverty.”
Afghanistan would be considered likely to have high rates of hunger because at least two of the major causes of global hunger affect it—armed conflict and fragile governmental institutions.
Malnutrition is responsible for nearly half of all preventable deaths among children under 5. Every year, the world loses hundreds of thousands of young children and babies to hunger-related causes.
Bread for the World is calling on the Biden-Harris administration and Congress to build a better 1,000-Days infrastructure in the United States.
“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.
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The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is designed to respond to changes in need, making it well suited to respond to crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bread for the World and its partners are asking Congress to provide $200 million for global nutrition.
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.