Last month, a bipartisan piece of legislation was signed into law reauthorizing the Global Food Security Act for the next five years. This legislation funds the “Feed the Future Initiative,” a program that has helped U.S. foreign assistance become more effective by strategically investing in sustainable agriculture, food security, nutrition, and other programs that address the root causes of global hunger and poverty.
Passage of this legislation points to what can be done when concern for the common good overcomes partisan divides. While we should take the opportunity to thank members of Congress for passing the Global Food Security Act, we also must call on Congress at the same time to overcome partisan gridlock and pass the Farm Bill before the end of the year. The Farm Bill is the central piece of legislation that sets U.S. policy on agriculture, nutrition, and food policy which directly impacts the poorest among us.
Over the next few weeks, Congress has an opportunity to reconcile differences between versions of the legislation in the House (H.R. 2) and Senate (S. 3042). These bills differ in critical areas, most notably in punitive provisions in the house version which drastically expand work requirements on millions who receive SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
We live in a world in which hunger has risen for the third consecutive year around the world, including forty million Americans in 2017. As a nation of plenty, we can and must do more to ensure that all are provided basic nutrition and dignity.
In this season of Thanksgiving, send a message to Congress to thank them for passing the Global Food Security Act, and call on them to overcome partisan divides and pass a Farm Bill that supports farmers and ensures that all who hunger are given the assistance they need.