U.S. Federal Budget

The federal budget is statement of who we are as a nation. It is more than a financial document. It is a moral one. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). This applies to nations as well as people.

While the federal government’s budget may sound boring or overwhelming with its unfathomable numbers, it’s too important to ignore when it comes to ending hunger.

The federal budget provides Congress and the president with the single greatest opportunity to shape our country’s priorities. The choices made about how the nation generates revenues and spends its shared resources should promote hope, opportunity, and economic security for all people, especially those struggling to put food on the table. As Christians, we believe that a moral measure of our federal budget is how it treats those whom Jesus called “the least of these” (Matthew 25:45).

Our government spends about 11 percent of its budget on domestic programs that assist low-income individuals (excluding health care and Social Security). Less than one percent of the federal budget goes toward international poverty-focused development assistance.

These policies and programs have produced tremendous gains in terms of nutrition, infant mortality, and children’s health care. Internationally, hunger has decreased over the last two decades. The number of people receiving anti-retroviral medicines to treat HIV/AIDS in developing countries increased tenfold to almost 3 million people in the last six years. Since 1990, more than 1 billion people gained access to clean water. When targeted and given the proper resources, these programs can work.

During budget negotiations, Congress too often looks to some of our most effective anti-hunger programs for places to cut. But it’s in the federal budget where many priorities are sharply put into focus. This is where Bread annually focuses its advocacy.  

Infographic: International Affairs and Poverty Focused Development Assistance. Graphic by Doug Puller / Bread for the World

Tools
from our Resource Library

For Education

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.

  • 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...

  • 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.
     

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.

    ...

  • 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...

  • Health Care Is a Hunger Issue

    Learn more about the principles that Bread for the World supports regarding health reform.