Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Survive and Thrive: The 2016 Offering of Letters

Ending hunger means more than just providing enough food and calories for everyone. Side by side with the need for sufficient food to live an active life is the need for the right foods — for good nutrition. A diet drawing from all food groups that is rich with vitamins and minerals is crucial for the health, growth, and strength of both bodies and minds. Focusing on women and young children is important because these groups are the most vulnerable to hunger and malnutrition. Nearly half of the world’s smallholder farmers are women, with higher rates in developing countries.   -Bread for the World
Our 2016 Offering of Letters Campaign, "Survive and Thrive," urges Congress to prioritize support for maternal and child health programs, emphasizing nutrition. Goal 3 of the Sustainable Development Goals  is to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. It includes targets to reduce global maternal mortality and to end preventable child deaths.

Malnutrition is the cause of 45 percent of all preventable child deaths and contributes to many maternal deaths.

Through the 2016 Offering of Letters, churches would urge Congress to increase funding for the nutrition and health of mothers, newborns, and young children. In 2015, funding for nutrition in the global health account was $115 million—a slight increase from previous years. Bread and its partners believe a funding level of $230 million for nutrition programs is needed for 2016. Increasing U.S. investment in global maternal and child nutrition is central to successful development and helps improve the potential of millions of people.

As part of our campaign, we will urge Congress to pass the Global Food Security Act, which continues U.S. investments in improving nutrition and increasing the productivity of smallholder farmers. For example, food-aid reform will also provide an opportunity to improve nutrition among mothers and children. There will also be an international Nutrition for Growth summit this summer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. There, governments could decide to make significant new political and financial commitments. Bread is urging Congress to push for those commitments. 

Albuquerque Offering of Letters Workshop
Stay tuned for details about the Offering of Letters workshop in Albuquerque, scheduled for Saturday, March 12, 2016.  Last year, 20 churches generated more than 2000 letters to Congress in support of efforts to increase domestic nutrition programs.  

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