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Washington, D.C. – Nearly 300 Bread for the World members and activists will visit Capitol Hill today to personally ask their members of Congress to support a bipartisan farm bill that protects nutrition assistance in the United States and improves international food aid, and to cosponsor and pass the Global Food Security Reauthorization Act.
The members and activists are participating in Bread’s 2018 Advocacy Summit and Lobby Day. This year’s theme is "For Such a Time as This." The theme is the same as Bread’s 2018 Offering of Letters, which is focused on urging Congress to make funding decisions that will end hunger by 2030.
“Bread members from across the country are on Capitol Hill to urge our congressional leaders to pass two pieces of legislation that will directly impact millions of hungry people in the U.S. and around the world,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “We have an opportunity to put us on the path to end hunger.”
The farm bill is must-pass legislation that authorizes most U.S. agriculture and nutrition policies, as well as humanitarian relief programs. The current House of Representatives’ version of the bill would cut more than $17 billion in food assistance from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
The Senate farm bill continues bipartisan support of U.S. international food assistance programs and rejects the broad, sweeping cuts to domestic nutrition assistance that would harm kids, families, the elderly, and people with disabilities. The bill is expected to be marked up on Wednesday.
“We are thankful the Senate Agricultural Committee introduced a bipartisan farm bill that protects domestic nutrition programs, especially SNAP, and fully funds international food aid,” Beckmann said.
The Feed the Future programs authorized by the Global Food Security Act (GFSA) alleviate hunger and malnutrition in developing countries. These programs support smallholder farmers, strengthen agricultural businesses, and promote critical nutrition interventions for mothers and babies in the first 1,000 day window. The law will expire this year unless Congress acts.
“The U.S. government-funded Feed the Future programs, authorized by the GFSA, have achieved remarkable results against hunger and poverty. In Feed the Future focus countries, poverty rates have dropped by 19 percent, and 1.7 million more households are free from hunger. Congress must reauthorize this vital legislation,” Beckmann said.
This evening, Bread for the World will honor Sens. Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), and Reps. Will Hurd (R-Tex.) and Alma Adams (D-N.C.) for their outstanding leadership toward ending hunger and poverty in the U.S. and around the world.
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.