Washington, D.C. – Bread for the World today urged lawmakers to enact COVID relief legislation without further delay and provide immediate relief for millions experiencing hunger due to the pandemic. The recent legislation passed by the House and Senate provides nutrition assistance for the 50 million people in the United States at risk of experiencing hunger this winter – including 11 million children. The organization also called on Congress to retain funding for global health and nutrition programs in the FY 2021 Omnibus bill, which are essential to our ongoing national security interests and domestic recovery from the pandemic and represent only 1% of the annual federal budget. The following statement can be attributed to Rev. Eugene Cho, president and CEO of Bread for the World:
“With hunger continually rising in the United States to historic levels and an average increase of 60% in the number of people seeking help at food banks across the country, we urge Congress to enact COVID relief legislation that will help keep millions of children and families from going hungry. Unemployment assistance has expired for the more than 12 million workers who have lost their jobs due to COVID – meaning they and their families will soon be facing hunger. Congress should act expeditiously and consider the legislation that earned the support of the vast majority of its members.
“It is also imperative that Congress provide immediate funding for global pandemic hunger and nutrition programs. The United Nations World Food Program warns extreme hunger could double, to 270 million people, by the end of 2020. An additional 168,000 children could die globally by 2022 due to hunger and malnutrition as a direct result of to COVID.
“As we close out this Christmas season and seek hope at the onset of a New Year, our hearts are with all those suffering. We pray and urge Congress for a quick resolution to this impasse so that struggling families in the U.S. are able to find some comfort knowing they can put food on the table. We also pray that lawmakers find the courage and will to pass funding for global pandemic hunger and nutrition programs. Christians are called on by God to help those in need. Our country cannot afford to deny relief to millions of people facing a hunger crisis and living in poverty.”