WASHINGTON (November 16, 2023) The Alliance to End Hunger is grateful for Congress’ efforts to pass a Continuing Resolution to fund the government through at least January 19, but warns policymakers that addressing urgent food security and nutrition concerns in the U.S. and around the world will require the passage of appropriations bills sufficient to meet increasing need.
The Continuing Resolution – passed by the House of Representatives on Tuesday and the Senate on Wednesday – extends funding for critical domestic nutrition programs through January 19 and many global food security programs through February 2. Critically, the legislation also extends the Farm Bill through September 30, 2024. The Farm Bill, which was set to expire at the end of the year – authorizes domestic programs such as SNAP and TEFAP, as well as global programs such as Food for Peace and the McGovern-Dole Food for Education Program.
Absent from the bill is adequate funding for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). WIC provides nutritional and health support for millions of pregnant women and new mothers and their children across the country. For the first time in 25 years, a funding shortfall threatens to force the implementation of waiting lists for eligible beneficiaries.
The Alliance to End Hunger is deeply concerned by the lack of sufficient appropriations against the backdrop of rising need everywhere. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently reported the largest increase in food insecurity in the United States since 2014. Further, an ongoing global food crisis has led to what the World Food Programme reports to be an estimated 783 million people around the world facing chronic hunger due to climate change, violent conflict, and continuing economic volatility including severe inflation.
“Hunger and malnutrition are a persistent and increasing problem for families and communities both in our country and around the world,” states Alliance to End Hunger president Eric Mitchell. “These issues need to be priorities for policymakers, but will ultimately not be fully addressed until legislators decide to focus on governing overall and provide sufficient funds to ensure nobody goes to bed hungry.”