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Washington, D.C. – Bread for the World today released the following statement regarding the ongoing negotiations over the next COVID-19 stimulus package:
Bread for the World continues to be deeply concerned by the delay in passing the next COVID-19 stimulus package. Late last week, the Gross Domestic Product report showed that the U.S. economy shrank at the fastest quarterly rate in recorded history from April to June. As many Americans struggle to retain jobs amid this economic reality during the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 30 million reported not having enough food to eat at the end of July. The number of people in the U.S. who are food insecure could rise to over 54 million without adequate government intervention, which will disproportionately impact Black and Brown communities already suffering from pre-existing conditions of systemic racism and economic inequality. To meet this urgent need, we strongly urge Congress to take swift action and include a 15% increase in the monthly SNAP benefit to everyone who is eligible and extend the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program.
Worldwide, 270 million people could be pushed to the brink of starvation, according to the U.N. World Food Programme. An additional 10,000 children per month could be at risk of dying due to malnutrition as recently reported in The Lancet journal. The Lancet commentary also put forth a call to action by U.N. leaders for investments including an additional $2.4 billion for humanitarian agencies to meet nutrition needs of mothers and children in the most vulnerable contexts this year. We, therefore, further urge Congress to invest no less than $20 billion in global health and development programs, including global food and nutrition programs to protect the world’s most vulnerable populations.
“Jesus calls on us to feed the hungry and help those in need,” said Rev. Eugene Cho, president and CEO of Bread for the World. “During this critical time in which millions depend on sound government leadership and effective policies that center on those severely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, we urge our leaders to find the moral courage and political will to come to a comprehensive agreement that meets the imminent need in our country and world.”
“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 the fiscal year 2020 budget.
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.