Hope in the new year

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By Jennifer Gonzalez


According to the Webster-Merriam Dictionary, hope is “to cherish a desire with anticipation : to want something to happen or be true.”

Hope is basically the span of time between expectation and resolution.

In many ways, our work at Bread for the World is predicated on hope. On the hope of fulfilled prayers. On the hope that our advocacy will make a difference. On the hope that there are enough people in this world who care about ending hunger.

It is a season of hope – for sure.

There was hope that Congress would pass the Biden administration’s Build Back Better Act before the new year, which would have extended the expanded Child Tax Credit – monthly payments given to parents to help cover the cost of food, housing, health care, and transportation.

Instead, the bill stalled in the Senate. The House approved the legislation in November.

“It’s disappointing that Congress has not passed Build Back Better, especially since we know that certain provisions in the law could make a real difference in people’s lives,” said Heather Valentine, director of government relations at Bread.

She added: “In fact, since Congress expanded the Child Tax Credit last year, that alone has cut hunger by 30 percent in low-income households with children.”

But there is some good news. The Global Malnutrition Prevention and Treatment Act, which aims to improve the lives of tens of millions of women and children around the world, continues to gain traction in Congress.

There are currently 59 cosponsors in total. Five cosponsors for the Senate bill (S. 2956) and 54 for the House bill (H.R. 4693).

The legislation authorizes the U.S. Agency of International Development (USAID) to develop an evidence-based strategy to end malnutrition, leveraging expertise across key U.S. federal agencies. The act makes nutrition an even higher priority for the U.S. government – establishes a five-year strategy to support countries in preventing and treating malnutrition.

Ryan Quinn, deputy director of government relations at Bread, said the expectation is that the legislation will move “forward in the House in the next few months.”

The Global Malnutrition Prevention and Treatment Act builds on Bread for the World’s years-long focus on improving global nutrition, most recently exemplified in our leadership on the Global Nutrition Resolution.

The resolution passed in December thanks to the persistent advocacy of our members and Bread’s coordination with strategic partners.

And so, in this season of hope – we wait. And we advocate and trust in God’s goodness that our prayers of advocacy will be answered.

Jennifer Gonzalez is managing editor at Bread for the World.

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