Bread continues to seek its issues in debates, on campaign trail


By Bread staff

With three debates behind us and another one next week, Bread for the World and its I Vote to End Hunger campaign continue to look for signs that the candidates consider hunger and poverty high priorities.

So far, hunger and poverty have not been explicitly discussed during the presidential debates or the sole vice presidential debate. Bread had petitioned the debates’ moderators: Lester Holt, Elaine Quijano, Anderson Cooper, and Martha Raddatz to raise hunger and poverty at the debates and for the candidates to address the issues in their campaigns.

 “One in 5 children struggles with hunger, 43 million Americans live below the poverty line, and 631,000 American voters have petitioned Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and the moderators to discuss hunger and poverty in the debates,” said Rev. David. Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “Yet hunger and poverty have hardly been mentioned in the first two presidential debates.”  

The last presidential debate is scheduled for Oct. 19. It will be moderated by Chris Wallace of Fox News.

“The last presidential debate takes place in Nevada, where 1 in 7 households struggles to put food on the table,” Beckmann said. “We hope to God that debate moderator Chris Wallace and the candidates will talk about how to provide help and opportunity to people who struggle with hunger and poverty. These problems affect tens of millions of people in our country, and Americans deserve to hear directly from the presidential candidates how they would address them.”

Aside from the debates, the campaigns have each recently released statements on what they would do to address hunger and poverty if elected. The statements were provided to Vote to End Hunger (VTEH), a coalition of 166 groups working to make hunger, poverty, and opportunity a higher political priority in 2016. These and other groups have been working for some time to make hunger and poverty election issues. Read the Clinton and Trump statements.

In addition to the statement Clinton submitted to VTEH, on Sept. 21 The New York Times ran an opinion piece by Clinton headlined “My Plan for Helping America’s Poor.”

During the primary campaign, all candidates from the major parties were asked for a video addressing how they will end hunger and poverty if elected president. Clinton sent a video; to date, Trump has not. 

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