Improving Food Aid to Improve Maternal and Child Nutrition

February 1, 2012

The United States is the world’s largest provider of food aid products — procured by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and distributed by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) through partner organizations overseas. A growing body of scientific evidence shows that early childhood nutrition interventions, aimed at the critical “1,000 Days” window from pregnancy through a child’s second birthday, are extremely effective and cost-efficient ways to arrest the lifelong effects of malnutrition.

More than 100 country governments and civil society organizations have signed on to the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement, which supports efforts to expand effective nutrition programs to undernourished pregnant women and young children. Reducing maternal and child malnutrition is a key priority of the U.S. government’s Feed the Future and Global Health initiatives.

There are opportunities to reform food aid to better align it with the objectives of these two programs. The U.S. Government Accountability Office has reported on inefficiencies in U.S. food aid procurement and distribution, while Tufts University has released an important study of ways to improve the nutritional quality of food aid. With debate on the next farm bill beginning, now is the time to improve this essential program.

Tools
from our Resource Library

For Education

  • Feed the Future

    Feed the Future, launched in 2010, grew out of the U.S. response, led by President George W. Bush, to the 2007-2008 global food price crisis. Prices of basic foods doubled or tripled in some countries and pushed an additional 150 million people into hunger and malnutrition.

  • 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. 

  • Hunger and Poverty in the African-American Community

    While hunger declined from 2017 for the general U.S. population, African Americans experienced a one percent increase, an increase of 153,000 African American households.

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

  • 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.

    ...

  • 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. 

  • 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...

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