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The war on poverty at 50: significant progress made, but renewed dedication needed

October 7, 2014 Comments off

The war on poverty at 50: significant progress made, but renewed dedication needed
Source: Bread for the World Institute

The United States cut poverty in half during the late 1960s and the 1970s. However, progress stalled in the 1980s as the issue of poverty moved further down the priority list for members of Congress and the president. Despite the advancements made since 1964, poverty is still far too high in the United States.
• 46.5 million Americans live in poverty.
• More than one in five children live in poverty.
• 49 million people, including one in six children, live in homes that struggle to put food on the table.
• A parent working full-time at minimum wage earns about $14,500 a year—$4,000 below the poverty line for a family of three.

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U.S. Food Aid Reform Fact Sheet

September 18, 2014 Comments off

U.S. Food Aid Reform Fact Sheet (PDF)
Source: Bread for the World Institute

The United States has long been a global leader in responding to humanitarian emergencies and is the largest provider of lifesaving food aid in the world. Since Food for Peace—the largest U.S. food-aid program–began in 1954, approximately 3 billion people in 150 countries have benefitted from American generosity and compassion. However, as this crucial program has been scrutinized in recent years, clear inefficiencies in how it is operated have emerged. With recent constraints on federal spending, we must seize this opportunity to reform this valuable program so that appropriated funds are used as effectively as possible to reach the maximum number of hungry people overseas, especially malnourished women and children.

Elections Matter 2014

August 12, 2014 Comments off

Elections Matter 2014
Source: Bread for the World Institute
From website:

The elections in 2014 (congressional) and 2016 (congressional and presidential) are vitally important to Bread for the World.

Bread wants to help end hunger by 2030, and to do that, it needs to help build the political will to make hunger a national priority by 2017.

Starting with this year’s elections, Bread hopes it can get a Congress and new president who are behind these goals.

This summer and fall, during the campaigns leading up to the 2014 mid-term congressional elections, Bread is asking its members all over the country to engage all candidates on hunger and poverty issues.

Why Children are Fleeing Central America

July 31, 2014 Comments off

Why Children are Fleeing Central America (PDF)
Source: Bread for the World Institute

Since last October, more than 52,000 unaccompanied children have fled unspeakable conditions and crossed into the United States. Most have come from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. By year’s end, that number is expected to grow to between 70,000 and 90,000. The Department of Homeland Security is preparing for more than 100,000 children to arrive in 2015. The United States is witnessing a humanitarian crisis in this situation.

Many members of Congress are focusing on detention centers and how fast the United States can send these children back to their home countries. Few are asking this question: What are we sending these children back to? Without addressing the root causes of this crisis, such as poverty and violence, this situation will continue. More and more children will be driven to flee their home countries in search of greater educational and economic opportunities, safer and more stable communities, and a path out of hunger.

This crisis is not just about the surge of new arrivals in the United States. It is also about the conditions of poverty, hunger, and violence that force children to leave their homes on a very dangerous and uncertain journey:

• 75 percent of these children are coming from three countries: Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.
• More than half of the citizens of Honduras and Guatemala live on less than $4 a day.
• About half of all Guatemalans suffer from moderately or severely stunted growth.
• Honduras has the highest murder rate per capita in the world. It is almost five times that of Mexico and twice that of Detroit.
• Residents of all ages, including children, in these countries are getting caught in gang-related violence.

U.S. food aid reform 101: fact sheet

June 18, 2014 Comments off

U.S. food aid reform 101: fact sheet (PDF)
Source: Bread for the World Institute

Despite increasing demand for food assistance, particularly among vulnerable women and children, funding for FFP is declining. More people are in need of assistance than ever, especially as the lasting effects of drought are felt in places like Africa and refugees are fleeing fragile states. Making every food-aid dollar count is both a responsible use of taxpayer money and a moral imperative.

Food-aid reform efforts reflect a more responsive approach to global food assistance in a time of declining budgets. New, more efficient food-aid programs continue to buy American-grown commodities while adding the option to be flexible in using local and regional food purchases and cash vouchers for food where appropriate. In the recently passed bipartisan farm bill and the current fiscal year funding bill, efforts to make food aid more efficient were recognized by Congress. Unfortunately, the progress we’ve made to reform food aid is at risk.

The House of Representatives recently passed a bill that would keep 2 million people from receiving lifesaving food aid. This bill takes critical food-aid dollars away from hungry people to pay for the increased cost of transporting food. This subsidy to the world’s largest shipping companies was quietly inserted as a provision in the Coast Guard Reauthorization Bill for fiscal year 2015. This provision has nothing to do with the U.S. Coast Guard and is a blatant attempt by special interests to line their own pockets while more people overseas go hungry.

Alleviate hunger by passing immigration reform: fact sheet

June 13, 2014 Comments off

Alleviate hunger by passing immigration reform: fact sheet (PDF)
Source: Bread for the World Institute

• About one-third of undocumented immigrants live in poverty
• More than 21 percent, or one in 5, of undocumented immigrant adults live in poverty, which is twice the rate of U.S.-born adults
• More than half of the population within some undocumented immigrant communities live with food insecurity, and it’s particularly high among rural communities of unauthorized immigrants
• 70 percent of Latino immigrants struggle to put food on the table
• One-third of U.S.-born children of undocumented parents live in poverty—that’s almost twice the rate for the children of U.S.-born adults

Fact Sheet: Hunger by the Numbers in the African-American Community: Employment, Wages, and Fairness

April 4, 2014 Comments off

Fact Sheet: Hunger by the Numbers in the African-American Community: Employment, Wages, and Fairness (PDF)
Source: Bread for the World

Ending hunger in America is possible. However, the return of income inequality on a scale that hasn’t been witnessed since the Great Depression—and the high poverty and hunger rates that accompany it—indicates that it’s time for the U.S. government to step up.

In 2012, the average incomes of the top 1 percent of households rose by 19.6 percent, while the incomes of the other 99 percent grew by just 1 percent. Economic inequality manifests itself in disproportionate rates of hunger and poverty among communities of color and children in particular. Following is an analysis of hunger and poverty within the African-American community and the connection to employment, wages, and fairness.

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