Bread for the World 2023 Impact Report

Building a Movement to End Hunger

A Letter from Our President & CEO

2023 was a difficult year for many. In the U.S., millions of households struggled to put food on the table. Globally, we witnessed the escalation of conflict in many places with already fragile food systems — Ukraine, Sudan, Tigray, Gaza, and more.

While grappling with these global hunger crises, Bread for the World members around the country mourned the passing of our founder and first president, Rev. Arthur “Art” Simon, who fifty years ago responded wholeheartedly to God’s call to put faith into action. He left behind a powerful legacy. In reflecting on Art’s life, we are reminded that a better future is possible.

Proof of that is all around us. Brave and altruistic people have mobilized to feed and care for families who have been displaced. Policymakers in the U.S. and other countries are investing in strengthening food systems to adapt and moderate the impact of climate change on hunger. Every day, Bread members are contributing to this movement to end hunger. Thank you for walking alongside Bread, each other, and our neighbors — near and far — who are experiencing hunger and poverty.

“In the work I do with Bread, I see the human face of hunger and, with joy, its end. I encourage you to celebrate the victories we accomplish on this journey, knowing that one day our children will be able to see the goals we have achieved by working together.”

Rev. Eugene Cho
President & CEO

Watch Olivia's Story

Olivia's Story

In 2023, Olivia Bowles, a student at Tuskegee University, volunteered with Bread for the World to help end hunger in her community and around the world. Specifically, she advocated to increase food access on college campuses through initiatives such as the Farm Bill and expansion of SNAP benefits.

The Power of Youth Advocacy

Olivia’s Story

“I’m a senior at Tuskegee University. I’ve been partnering with Bread for the World for the past several years to help end hunger in my community and around the world. I organize a letter-writing campaign to encourage students at Tuskegee to write to our representatives. This past year, we advocated for them to pass the farm bill and make SNAP benefits more accessible to minority communities.”

Hunger: The Numbers

2020 marked a spike in world hunger because of the pandemic, which undid much of the progress that had been made against hunger in recent decades. We are still working to recover the ground we lost. But we keep our eyes on the long-term mission, knowing that having made great progress once, we can do it again.

735M

Approximate number of people around the world facing chronic hunger (FAO).

LESS THAN $2.15

Families who earn this amount or less per day are considered to be living in extreme poverty. About 670 million people were estimated to be living in extreme poverty in 2022 (UN).

42M

The number of 2023 SNAP recipients (USDA).

1 in 8

The number of U.S. households that struggle to put food on the table (USDA).

45M

The number of children around the world who suffer from wasting, meaning they are dangerously thin for their height. Roughly one million children die each year from wasting (UN).

333M

The number of children around the world who live in extreme poverty (UNICEF).

$16,337

The average after-tax annual income of the bottom 20% of U.S. households in 2022 (USDA).

$5,090

The annual amount these individual households spend on food (USDA).

Our Impact: The Numbers

Bread’s bipartisan network includes hundreds of thousands of people and churches that are active in every congressional district. Our network engages digitally, in person, and through prayer to achieve remarkable policy impact and legislative victories.

302,987

The number of people who were part of Bread’s network in 2023. Bread’s network includes individuals, churches, congregations, parishes, and partners who are motivated to pray, act, and give for an end to hunger.

1,026

The number of Bread’s engaged supporters on college campuses across the nation.

MORE THAN $1.2B

The amount of federal funding Bread’s network prevented from being cut from Food for Peace, which in 2022 reached 53 million people in 21 countries with critical food and nutrition aid.

74,518

The number of Bread constituent letters to Congress, reaching 98% of the House and Senate.

1,063

The number of local congregations who were fully engaged with Bread in 2023 (a 15% increase from 2022).

2,193

The number of advocates attending Bread’s strategic events around the country, including 447 Offering of Letters events at 426 different congregations and campuses.

264

The number of Leader Activists, those who took on leadership roles to engage others in their communities in anti-hunger advocacy with Bread.

Policy Impact: Highlights

The U.S. Farm Bill is a package of legislation reauthorized by Congress every five years and provides nutrition assistance to millions of Americans. Bread for the World advocated for a fair, equitable, and sustainable farm bill in 2023 when the bill was scheduled to be reauthorized. In November 2023, Congress successfully passed a one-year extension of the 2018 Farm Bill, including SNAP, the U.S. flagship nutrition program. An extension that amounts to “more of the same” may not seem like a victory, but this came in a year when most of the Bread-supported programs in the farm bill were threatened with drastic cuts during the appropriations negotiations process.

We have been working with the Puerto Rican faith community to ensure that Puerto Ricans have equitable access to SNAP. Bread also advocated for the farm bill to enhance global maternal and child nutrition through the Food for Peace and McGovern-Dole Food for Education programs.

In 2023, Bread for the World participated for the first time in the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 28), the most influential world gathering on climate change. Rev. Eugene Cho was invited to accompany a youth delegation, advocating to make food security and nutrition central to the global climate agenda. Finally, Bread is part of the Zero Food Waste Coalition and worked with them in 2023 to build support for the Food Date Labeling Act to standardize food labels.

Senator Todd Young (R-IN) shares how the Bread members’ letters have had an impact on his work.

How Bread Works

Bread members, advocates, and donors are active in every congressional district in the country, with organizers serving in all 50 states.

Join Us at the Table

Bread members work to change the laws and systems that allow hunger to persist and to live out God’s call to care for our neighbors through prayer, action, or giving.

Grassroots Efforts

OFFERING OF LETTERS TO CONGRESS
Bread’s Offering of Letters has been central to our work for decades, and it is one of the most powerful actions we encourage members to take. The letters and emails from congregations, campuses, community groups, and individuals have helped inspire our leaders in Washington, D.C., to pass legislative victories that reduce hunger in the U.S. and around the world.

In 2023, our advocacy efforts and Offering of Letters events with individual members, churches, and faith partners resulted in 107 targeted calls to personal relationships in congressional offices, 458 meetings with members of Congress, and 39 op-eds and Letters to the Editor in target districts.

Gathering for Change

On June 12, 250 anti-hunger advocates convened for our annual Advocacy Summit in Washington, D.C. On Lobby Day following the summit, Bread anti-hunger advocates met with 171 members of Congress from 34 states and 104 congressional districts to discuss laws and policies in the farm bill. Keynote speaker Secretary Tom Vilsack is pictured on the left.

Gala to End Hunger

On May 9, more than 150 Bread supporters attended our 20th annual Gala to End Hunger in New York City. The event featured former Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme and South Carolina Governor David M. Beasley as Keynote Speaker. Congressman Michael McCaul (TX-10) (Republican) shared video remarks, and the president of Islamic Relief USA, Anwar Khan, and other special guests shared remarks.

We Stand Together

Bread is proud to have partnered with 96 Strategic Church Partners in 2023. Highlights include:

  • Working with the Circle of Protection on the Child Tax Credit, WIC funding, and the humanitarian aid component of the emergency supplemental request.
  • Collaborating with the Washington Interfaith Staff Community (WISC) to advance policies that increase access to nutrition programs.
  • Partnering with Pan-African partners to advocate for the farm bill and issues concerning Black Farmers nationally and globally.
  • Working with Latino partners to advocate for access to SNAP for U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico.

Senator Sharrod Brown (D-OH) shares how his mother’s participation with Bread for the World has inspired his approach to policy.

Policy and Research Institute

Bread’s Policy and Research Institute’s (PRI) nonpartisan analysis and identification of action steps help strengthen Bread as a trusted voice. Here are the highlights:

Farm Bill

In 2023, PRI supported Bread’s advocacy on the farm bill with research, analysis, coalition-building, and outreach events focused on Bread’s legislative priorities, including the nutrition incentives program, known as GusNIP; Food for Peace; the McGovern-Dole Food for Education Program; and climate provisions.

Coalition Leaderships

Rev. Eugene Cho joined the board of directors of InterAction, the largest alliance of 170 international development and humanitarian assistance organizations in the United States. PRI also co-chaired the InterAction Budget and Appropriations Subcommittee.

Climate

In addition to supporting preparation for Bread’s first-ever participation in the annual United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 28), PRI gathered the Global Faith Leaders for Climate Justice to End Hunger Coalition for three meetings in 2023. PRI’s efforts included increasing grassroots support for legislation such as the Food Date Labeling Act.

PRI Convenings

In 2023, PRI held three Hunger Hotspots briefings, covering seven countries: Burkina Faso, Mali, Kenya, Haiti, Honduras, Afghanistan, and Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh. PRI convened an AIM4 Climate Summit event highlighting innovations to address the global food crisis in partnership with USAID, Farm Journal Foundation, and InterAction. PRI also co-hosted a congressional reception celebrating U.S. leadership in global food security and agricultural innovation.

2024 AND BEYOND

OUR MOVEMENT

The reach of hunger is wide – but so is the movement against it. Every day, I am amazed by the faith, breadth, and diversity of Bread’s supporters. I see them praying, speaking, and writing alongside those who have been Bread partners for four or five decades. They have two things in common: a belief that hunger is solvable, and the determination to achieve our mission. As we look to 2024 and beyond, we are joined together by our mission to end hunger. What’s beautiful about this mission is that we know how bravery and conviction can often be borne from difficulty. Those we help today could very well be the ones leading this movement tomorrow. I know God emboldens and guides all of us in this journey.

Heather Taylor
Managing Director

“If you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday. The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs.”
– Isaiah 58:10 – 11a NRSV

POLICY FOCUS FOR 2024

The Farm Bill and Nourish Our Future

In 2024, we are calling on all of Congress, especially the leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees, to pass a healthy, equitable, and sustainable farm bill immediately. Part of this work involves educating these leaders on what is at stake for specific populations.

Addressing Child Hunger

The expiration of the expanded Child Tax Credit and other nutrition programs, along with inflation and global conflict, has led to an unprecedented rise in child hunger in the U.S. and around the world. If we do not act, this crisis will have a lasting impact for generations. Ending child hunger is one of the most urgent and achievable bipartisan issues we face today.

Nourish Our Future

2024 marks the launch of “Nourish Our Future,” our legislative and organizing campaign centering on child nutrition, a core component of our 50th Anniversary celebration in 2025. The goal of this campaign is to dramatically reduce domestic and international child hunger.

Financial Overview

We are grateful for the generosity of the many people, churches, and philanthropies that help make Bread for the World and Bread for the World Institute’s work possible. Together, we share a vision that ending hunger in our lifetimes is possible. Your partnership through your financial gifts ensures that our staff and members will be present in the halls of power to advocate for the needs of those experiencing hunger. Your gifts are making a difference.

The financial overview is based on the 2023 audited financial statements. Bread for the World and Bread for the World Institute are recognized by Charity Navigator, Guidestar, and BBB for our exceptional commitment to financial responsibility, accountability, and transparency. Copies of the audited statements and the IRS 990 documents may be viewed at https://www.bread.org/reports.

Larisa Friesen Hall
Vice President for Development

Delma Plummer
Vice President for Finance and Administration

2023 AND BEYOND

Hope and Progress in Ending Hunger

The progress we have made against hunger in 2023 could not have happened without the collaborative work and generosity of tens of thousands of our members and hundreds of thousands of advocates. As we enter a year of uncertainty – given elections, conflicts, and shifting economies around the world – our work becomes so much more important. We must continue speaking up for those who are vulnerable in these times. The good news is we have the resources and the know-how to end hunger in our lifetimes. We just have to decide as a society to do so. Thank you for being a vital part of this live-giving mission. May God bless our work together.

2023 Board Officers

Katherine
Pringle
Chair

Heather
Hardinger
Vice Chair

Mike
Goorhouse
Treasurer

Mariam
Mengistie
Secretary