HUNGER IS A SIGNIFICANT BUT SOLVABLE PROBLEM, BOTH IN THE UNITED STATES AND INTERNATIONALLY

Creating a world in which all people have the nourishment they need to live active, healthy lives requires partnership and collaboration between individuals, communities, non-profits, businesses and government.

Specifically, it requires leadership and a commitment from our next President and Congress.

Vote to End Hunger is mobilizing grassroots supporters and influencers to urge the 2016 Presidential candidates to focus on ending hunger, alleviating poverty and creating opportunity in the United States and across the world.

WE HAVE A LOT AT STAKE

  • One out of every 7 U.S. households – more than 48 million Americans- struggle to put food on the table. These numbers include 5.4 million seniors and 15 million children.
  • Around the world, 795 million people experience hunger every day.
  • The impact of hunger reaches far beyond just those families and individuals who experience it. Hunger has a devastating impact in the lives of children. Hunger affects brain development. It makes it harder to learn in school and puts our children at risk of  chronic health issues.
  • Irreversibly harming a child’s cognitive and physical development in turn makes it harder for them to find employment later in life.
  • Hunger burdens our economy with lost productivity and increased, avoidable healthcare costs.
  • Hunger and inadequate nutrition for seniors exacerbates already existing health challenges, accelerates physical impairment, impedes recovery from illness, injury and surgery, and increases risk of chronic disease.

Developing countries can lose up to 11 percent of their economic output as a result of hunger. Yet every $1 invested in combatting global malnutrition sees a $16 return.

In the United States, we have systems in place to help connect people to the food they need. Federal nutrition programs such as SNAP (formerly known as food stamps), Women, Infants, and Children Program (WIC), the school lunch and school breakfast programs, and Meals on Wheels help make sure that low-income families, children and seniors can get the nourishment and support they need to get back on their feet, grow and thrive or remain independent and healthy.

However, it’s not enough. Ending hunger requires more than just giving people a meal today; we must also address the root causes of hunger, alleviating poverty and creating opportunity.

We have the momentum. In the last few decades, the world has seen steady but slow progress against hunger. According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, the percentage of the world’s population that is undernourished has decreased from 23.4 percent in 1990-92 to 13.5 percent in 2012-14. Last month world leaders affirmed their commitment to ending extreme poverty globally by 2030, and to end malnutrition and food insecurity once and for all.

It’s time to reaffirm our commitment to these ideals in the United States. We must not tolerate hunger – and we don’t have to. We have the resources to end hunger in the United States and internationally; we are lacking the political will. This election, we must seize the opportunity to create that will by urging the Presidential candidates to commit to making hunger, poverty and opportunity priority issues if elected.

Ending hunger is not a partisan issue and is something we can all support.