Your chance to vote early – on a debate question


By Robin Stephenson

On Sunday, presidential hopefuls Donald J. Trump and Hillary Clinton will meet for the second time to debate the most pressing issues facing America.

And for the second time, we urge them to tell the American people what they intend to do to end hunger, alleviate poverty, and create opportunity if elected.

Sunday’s town-hall style debate begins at 9 p.m. EDT and will be televised on all major networks and cable news channels. Moderators CNN’s Anderson Cooper and ABC’s Martha Raddatz will choose the most popular questions submitted online through

Vote now and tell the moderators to ask candidates: What will you do to end hunger and poverty in the U.S. and worldwide?


Missing from the first debate was any discussion of ending hunger and poverty, yet for millions of Americans, getting enough to eat is a daily struggle.

Food insecurity and poverty rates are both in decline according to U.S. Census data, but not everyone is prospering equally. A job is no longer a guarantee that you won’t be hungry.

This week, KQED reported on the struggle millions of low-wage workers face to make ends meet. Single mother Lupe Beltran depends on food stamps despite making a wage of $11 an hour.  American prosperity is out of reach for workers like Beltran. Without a high school diploma, let alone a college degree, she is blocked out of upward mobility.

Stories like Beltran’s are not an exception. In fact, 23 million Americans make so little that even when both parents are working, they can’t feed their family. This group of Americans deserves more than just silence about their future. The next Congress and president must make growing the economy and reducing income disparities a top priority.

Not just American prosperity is at stake. The decisions made by leaders in 2017 will affect whether we can achieve a hunger-free world in 2030. There has been steady but slow progress against global hunger in the last decade – extreme poverty cut in half. However, a global humanitarian crisis, coupled with the effects of climate change, threatens to reverse gains. 

Ethiopia was one of those success stories until drought hit, leaving more than 10 million in need of food aid, including more than 40,000 severely malnourished children.

Global food aid resources are stretched thin. If those resources were to dry up, the consequences would be dire. Updating U.S. food aid policy would mean reaching millions more people. The next president and Congress will likely make decisions about reforming food aid for better or worse.

“If there was no support and the rains don’t come,” Ethiopian farmer Mohammed Abdullah told The Washington Post earlier this year, “people will start dying.”

Hunger is solvable if we have the political will and the leadership willing to make ending hunger and poverty top priorities in 2017 – and willing to make it a topic of debate.

Vote now and tell the moderators of the second presidential debate to ask candidates: What will you do to end hunger and poverty in the U.S. and worldwide?

Robin Stephenson is the national lead for social media and senior regional organizer at Bread for the World.

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