By Jennifer Gonzalez
This fall is expected to be a busy one as Bread for the World staff and its advocates continue to seek final passage of the Global Malnutrition Prevention and Treatment Act in the Senate while also working on the reauthorization of the Global Food Security Act.
Bread organizers are also laying the advocacy groundwork for next year’s reauthorization of the farm bill by conducting listening sessions.
Feed the Future was established to address the root causes of hunger and malnutrition by developing resilient agriculture systems and boosting nutrition in countries with great need and opportunity for improvement.
Over the last decade, the initiative has helped protect 3.4 million children from stunting and malnutrition, brought 5.2 million families out of hunger, and moved 23.4 million people out of poverty.
“Conflict, COVID-19, the climate crisis, and the rising costs of basic necessities have resulted in historic levels of food insecurity, said Rev. Eugene Cho, president and CEO of Bread for the World. “Millions more people are experiencing hunger and malnutrition across the world. While humanitarian support is essential, it is simply not enough.”
Cho added that solving the food crisis requires building on success we have seen with the Global Food Security Act and Feed the Future.
Ryan Quinn, deputy director of government relations at Bread for the World, said “we are especially excited about provisions in the Senate bill that increase authorized funding levels and include language about nutrition, a commitment to locally-led development, empowering women smallholder farmers, investment in climate-smart agriculture, and an emphasis on agricultural research investment and innovation.”
The legislation builds on several lessons learned of the past decade of Feed the Future implementation, including a greater focus on climate, nutrition, gender equity, localization, and agricultural innovation.
The number of countries involved in Feed the Future will also increase from 12 to 20 – reaching more women and children than ever before.
The Global Malnutrition Prevention and Treatment Act already passed the House with strong bipartisan support. It is now awaiting a final vote in the Senate. The legislation will make existing U.S. global nutrition programs even more effective and support countries in their efforts to prevent and treat child malnutrition.
Urge your senator to support and co-sponsor the Global Malnutrition Prevention and Treatment Act.
Although it won’t be introduced until next year, Bread is already hard at work to ensure passage of the U.S. farm bill.
The farm bill’s influence in ending hunger at home and abroad cannot be underscored enough. Despite its name, it includes much more than farm policies and programs. As much as three-quarters of its funding is spent on nutrition programs, primarily the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
SNAP is the largest federal nutrition program, enabling tens of millions of people across the country to put food on the table. “No other nutrition program has such widespread reach,” said Sergio Mata-Cisneros, an advocacy and policy analyst at Bread.
The farm bill also plays a significant part in the U.S. commitment to ending global hunger by supplying U.S. agricultural surpluses to fight world hunger, expanding international trade to combat poverty, and fostering friendly foreign relations and U.S. foreign policy to promote peace and security.
Another piece of legislation that Bread for the World is eyeing is the Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act. It was introduced in the House last month.
The bill would reauthorize child nutrition programs – including school meals, summer feeding programs, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
If passed, it would be the first child nutrition reauthorization bill enacted since 2010. “The reauthorization of child nutrition programs is long overdue, and we urge lawmakers to quickly pass this bill,” Cho said.
Reach out to your regional organizer today about how you can get involved with our advocacy work.
Jennifer Gonzalez is managing editor at Bread for the World. Chris Ford, deputy director of media relations, contributed to the article.