You make the difference.
Despite threats to poverty-focused development assistance funding, the 2017 Offering of Letters was victorious in securing $1 billion in supplemental aid for near-famines in Somalia, Yemen, South Sudan, and northeastern Nigeria. Although the situation in all four countries remains dire, the additional funds have provided relief in time of extreme need and crises. We are grateful for our congressional champions and advocates who made ending hunger a priority. And while 2017 continued the trend of hyper-partisanship, Congress did pass a fiscal year 2017 budget that funded domestic anti-hunger programs, such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and key job-training and anti-poverty programs. Finally, because of your faithful advocacy, Congress was not successful in their effort to drastically cut Medicaid for millions of low-income Americans during the health care debate.
While 2016 was a tumultuous year marked by partisanship and intense disagreements, the 2016 Offering of Letters achieved victory despite the congressional gridlock. In July 2016, Congress passed the Global Food Security Act with overwhelming bipartisan support. This world hunger bill ensured that the Feed the Future initiative would continue to support smallholder farmers and improve the nutrition of women and children around the world. It authorized more than $3.7 billion for programs that help feed hungry people. And, while we did not achieve our goal of $250 million for nutrition in global health programs through congressional appropriations, Congress did maintain strong funding for nutrition at $125 million in both their appropriations bills and continuing resolutions. Finally, the 2016 Offering of Letters brought to the forefront strong bipartisan support for global maternal and child nutrition in Congress—more than 180 members of Congress signed letters in support of robust funding for maternal and child nutrition programs in 2016.
The 2015 Offering of Letters resulted in strong, bipartisan support in Congress for strengthening children’s access to important nutrition programs, especially those for summer meals. Numerous bills were introduced to give more children the meals they needed, such as the Summer Meals Act and the Stop Child Summer Hunger Act. At publication time, the House and Senate were committed to passing bipartisan language to reauthorize the child nutrition act by early 2016. Finally, the advocacy efforts of Bread activists were instrumental in passing a two-year budget deal that lifted deep sequestration cuts and protected critical funding for programs such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).