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In his penultimate state of the union address, President Obama stressed the importance of tax credits for working families, fair wages, eliminating the gender gap, and making childcare affordable.
“The president’s focus on helping families feel secure in a time of change, and in ensuring everyone has an opportunity for success are keys to ending hunger,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “President Obama said it best that childcare is ‘not a woman’s issue but an economic priority for all of us’.”
The 2015 state of the union address comes at a time when 49 million Americans are at risk of hunger. Communities of color continue to suffer disproportionately with 27.1 percent of African-Americans and 25.6 percent of Hispanics living in poverty.
“With 16 million children not knowing if they will go to bed hungry, our top priority with this new Congress is to ensure that our nation’s child nutrition programs are reauthorized,” said Beckmann. “Improvements to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) need to be made permanent. They reward work and supplement wages, and the 2009 improvements alone are preventing 8 million kids from falling into or deeper into poverty.”
Internationally, poverty-focused development assistance (PFDA) is going to be funded at a slightly higher level than in the FY 2015 budget, largely in part due to emergency funds to fight Ebola in West Africa. During this speech, President Obama stated that rolling back Ebola in West Africa is an opportunity to invest in development and eradicate extreme poverty.
“We know we can work together with the president and the new Congress to eliminate the gender gap, invest in our children, and ensure U.S. foreign assistance helps our brothers and sisters around the world,” said Beckmann. “We must take this opportunity of a new Congress and the improved state of the union to make ending hunger a national priority.”
Afghanistan would be considered likely to have high rates of hunger because at least two of the major causes of global hunger affect it—armed conflict and fragile governmental institutions.
Malnutrition is responsible for nearly half of all preventable deaths among children under 5. Every year, the world loses hundreds of thousands of young children and babies to hunger-related causes.
Bread for the World is calling on the Biden-Harris administration and Congress to build a better 1,000-Days infrastructure in the United States.
“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in faith.” These words from Colossians 2:6 remind us of the faith that is active in love for our neighbors.
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The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is designed to respond to changes in need, making it well suited to respond to crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bread for the World and its partners are asking Congress to provide $200 million for global nutrition.
In 2017, 11.8 percent of households in the U.S.—40 million people—were food-insecure, meaning that they were unsure at some point during the year about how they would provide for their next meal.