Hunger group hopes for progress in 2011 on global malnutrition

November 23, 2010

WASHINGTON (RNS) Significant progress on global malnutrition can be
made in 2011, the ecumenical anti-hunger group Bread for the World said
Monday (Nov. 22) in its new annual report on hunger.


The U.S. government's "Feed the Future" initiative has the potential
to reduce hunger by addressing long-term economic development and
focusing on small farmers, said Asma Lateef, director of Bread for the
World Institute.


The report calls for emphasizing nutrition, especially for young
children and pregnant women, and fostering rapid response to hunger
emergencies. It also urges a rewrite of the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act
to emphasize poverty reduction as a key aspect of U.S. foreign policy.


The report, " Our Common Interest: Ending Hunger and Malnutrition,"
was released as interfaith leaders have mobilized U.S. houses of worship
to work on fighting domestic poverty. Officials of the National Council
of Churches, Catholic Charities USA and the Jewish Council for Public
Affairs (JCPA) gathered in Washington on Monday to call on Congress to
address poverty through legislative action, including reauthorizing the
Child Nutrition Act.


Recent federal statistics show an additional 3.8 million people in
poverty and one in seven American households unable to purchase adequate
food.


"Despite more people falling into poverty, federal programs are
helping to make a difference to provide people with access to
affordable, ... healthy food," said Josh Protas, Washington director of
JCPA, in an interview. "Federal intervention can make a critical
difference as people are on the cusp of falling into poverty and losing
so much of what's important in their lives."