This past June members of our congregation wrote and sent to our legislators 72 letters as part of Bread for the World’s campaign to help end hunger at home and abroad.
CONGRESS TAKES ACTION. THEN OBAMA SIGNS BILL INTO LAW: THE GLOBAL FOOD SECURITY ACT OF 2016
One of the bills we wrote about, S 1252 known as the Global Food Security Act of 2016, had already passed the US House of Representatives in April by a vote of 370-33
About two weeks after we wrote our legislators, on July 6 this same legislation, S 1252, came to the floor of the US Senate. The bill passed on a voice vote, without amendment. (Quite amazing, given the discord in Washington of late!)
Bread for the World staff and advocates like us were a major factor in gaining Congressional support for this bill. All together, the Global Food Security Act of 2016 (S 1252) had 130 co-sponsors in the House and Senate.
President Obama signed the legislation into law on July 20th. He released the following statement when he signed the bill:
Seven years ago, just a few months into my presidency, I came together with counterparts from some of the world’s most powerful nations and committed to improving the lives of rural poor people around the globe through investments in more productive agriculture and better nutrition. Today, I’m proud to see that Congress has passed S 1252, The Global Food Security Act of 2016, an overwhelmingly bipartisan piece of legislation that will put Feed the Future, our global hunger and food security act, into law. ….
I know that with the continued effort and support that this legislation provides, we can achieve what was just a few years ago the unimaginable: We can end global poverty and hunger within our lifetimes.
THE IMPROVING CHILD NUTRITION AND EDUCATION ACT OF 2016
The second piece of legislation that we wrote about, HR 5003, called The Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act of 2016, would make it more difficult for hungry American children to access nutritious meals both during the school year and during the summer months. We asked that this bill not come out of committee to the House floor, because, in spite of its appealing title, it is unhelpful legislation that places new barriers to many needy Americans as they try to access meals. So far, the bill is still among the 75% of legislation that never comes up for a vote.
Together our letters and those from many like-minded people from all over the United States enabled our often contentious representatives and senators to come together (1) to pass important legislation that helps nourish people at home and around the world and (2) to block legislation that would disadvantage many needy American children and families.
We can be thankful that we helped make a difference!
–Nancy Rupp, Mission Committee