Support the Creation of a Select Committee on Hunger!
The Alliance to End Hunger is organizing a sign-on letter asking Speaker Pelosi to establish a Select Committee on Hunger in the House of Representatives.
In the 1980’s and 90’s, a House Select Committee on Hunger collected testimony, held hearings, and drew attention to myriad hunger-related issues in the Unites States and around the world that were are critical for hungry people. The committee’s focus included issues such as community development and nutrition-related infant mortality in the US, and microfinancing and refugee aid globally, as well as many other issues. While it did not draft legislation, the Select Committee had powers that are not afforded to less high-profile groups such as the House Hunger Caucus.
The Alliance’s Executive Director Emeritus, Ambassador Tony Hall, chaired the House Select Committee on Hunger between 1989-1993. When Congress eliminated the Select Committee in 1993, Amb. Hall fasted for 22 days in solidarity with the hungry people that would now have a reduced political voice. This eventually led to the creation of the Congressional Hunger Center, but the Select Committee was not re-established.
Now, after over a decade of progress in tackling hunger around the world, we are facing a global situation in which hunger is on the rise. At the same time, there is severe uncertainty in the United States around issues important to hungry people, their families, and their livelihoods. In this context, Ambassador Hall is leading an effort to re-establish the House Select Committee on Hunger. It is critical that our community develops a strong show of support for this endeavor, with this letter to Speaker Pelosi being the first step.
Please note that while this effort is being spearheaded by the Alliance, it will be sent as a white-label letter (i.e. not on our letterhead). We strongly encourage you to share this sign-on letter far and wide to request that organizations – non-profits, faith-based, private-sector, university and other – join this request. Deadline for organizations to sign on is Friday, May 31st.
The Alliance’s mission is to engage diverse institutions to build the public and political will to end hunger at home and abroad. Learn more about our Policy Priorities.
Alliance Advocacy Committee
The Alliance’s diverse membership realized that it was in a unique position to provide a long-term approach to advocacy. In addition to periodic meetings with Members of Congress and the Administration, the Alliance established a member-led Advocacy Committee. This Committee was tasked to compose common messages that underscore the connection between hunger and a variety of prominent political issues. Any members interested in participating in the Advocacy Committee should feel free to contact the committee co-chairs, Rick McNary and Meredith Dodson.
To date, three working groups of the Advocacy Committee have convened to draft messages that link the issue of hunger to agriculture, healthcare, and national security. Below, you will find the compiled briefings on the issues, as well as a basic “Hunger Overview.”
- Hunger Overview: Hunger is the inability to consume necessary amounts of food for daily sustenance because of the lack of funds and/or access to nutritional food. Hunger affects all 50 states, all Congressional districts, and every country on earth.
- Hunger and Agriculture: 795 million people worldwide are considered “food insecure,” a challenge that is compounded by a population projected to grow by more than 2 billion by 2050, and limited availability of natural resources. To meet growing global food demand, farmers will have to increase agricultural production by 70%. The agriculture community has an important role to play in developing more just and efficient food systems.
- Hunger and U.S. Health: The relationship between eating well and good health is well known. We learn from an early age that “you are what you eat” and consuming fruits and vegetables is important. With the growth of the obesity epidemic, much of the attention on food consumption in America has focused on the volume, caloric density and fat content of food consumed, with good reason. What is often missing in our discussion of good health and food consumption is the tragic level of hunger in America.
- Hunger and International Health: Hunger and malnutrition are prevalent worldwide. Currently 795 million people are considered “food insecure”, with a population projected to grow over 2 billion by 2050. Of these, an estimated 3.1 million children under the age of five die annually due to under-nutrition. In the first 1,000 days of a child’s life—from conception to the age of two—over 40 vitamins and minerals are required for healthy development. The resilience of individuals, families, and communities therefore depends on adequate food intake and nutrition.
- Hunger and International Security: There are inseparable links between food security and international security. The Alliance Advocacy Committee is working to help raise awareness of the long-term relationship between hunger and security.
- Hunger and Race: In the United States, people of color are more vulnerable to hunger and poverty, experiencing hunger at up to two times the rate of white individuals. Ending hunger and poverty, therefore, is closely linked to racially equitable solutions. The Alliance Advocacy Committee is working to embed a racial equity lens in our advocacy work. Click here for a flyer with suggestions for anti-hunger organizations. For further background on this topic, please read Getting to Zero Hunger: Hunger, Poverty, and Race.
You can also learn about upcoming events and committee meetings on our Events Calendar.