May 16, 2019 · 2:06 pm
A group House members recently signed a letter recently calling for increased funding for McGovern-Dole global school lunch program. This is critical especially with the number of hunger emergencies around the world.
Representative Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Stee Watkings (R-KS) led the initiative which includes about 100 members including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). Hopefully the w whole congress will support the increased funding. Here is a copy of the letter and all the signatories.
May 7, 2018 · 5:39 pm
As we remember V-E Day (May 8, 1945) and the Allies’ victory in World War II Europe, let’s also think of the unsung heroes. Throughout Europe there was another war raging against hunger.
U.S. and British pilots heroically airlifted food into the Netherlands, where people were starving under Nazi occupation.
U.S. Army Col. O.J. Bizzozero and a Red Cross official, Kevin Silber, had a great idea for feeding hungry children in recently liberated Italy.
Bizzozero exclaimed: “You would have to go into the schools. Schools are the place to go.” Silber replied, “In that way we could furnish milk to children who need it, and at the same time stimulate school attendance.” Soup and vegetables were provided to hungry schoolchildren in Italy.
This emergency school feeding, which the Allies did throughout Europe, is one of the best ways to help the suffering children of war. It’s a lesson we should well remember because at this very moment children are hungry and missing out on education because of conflict.
See my full commentary at the Columbus Dispatch:
January 23, 2018 · 7:38 pm
President Trump, in his 2018 State of the Union, can make a powerful statement for feeding the hungry. The president can set the tone for the whole year in taking action against hunger at home and abroad.
With famine threatening Yemen, South Sudan, the Congo, Nigeria and Somalia the leadership of the United States is desperately needed. History shows we can rise to the occasion.
When President Harry Truman made his 1946 State of the Union, a gathering storm of famine was looming over Europe. That continent was still reeling from the destruction of World War II. Hunger was everywhere. In his address, delivered in writing to Congress, Truman said “It is imperative that we give all necessary aid within our means to the people who have borne the ravages of war.”
See my full commentary at The Hill
January 19, 2018 · 3:39 pm
President Trump’s vulgar comments about Africa are bad enough. Far more disturbing is his lack of action fighting world hunger, especially that continent’s famine threat.
The United Nations just sounded the alarm of famine threatening the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This war-torn nation has millions of displaced civilians, many of them farmers. Without the planting of crops, food supplies are nonexistent.
War victims in the Congo need the assistance of the UN World Food Program, UNICEF and other relief agencies. But funding is dangerously low. Starvation will claim many lives unless we act now.
See my full commentary at the NY Daily News:
January 14, 2018 · 4:43 pm
One of Martin Luther King Jr.’s dreams was a world free from hunger, which is vital for achieving equality among all peoples. We can celebrate Martin Luther King Day by joining his quest to end hunger at home and abroad.
As Dr. King proclaimed in his Nobel Peace Prize speech, “I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits.”
November 11, 2017 · 3:49 pm
Just eight days before the Nov. 11, 1918 Armistice ending World War I, my great uncle, Ira Pitzer, was killed during battle in France. His mother was overcome with grief for the rest of her life, a tragedy shared by so many families who have served in the military.
Veterans Day is to honor the service and sacrifice of the men and women in the armed forces. But Veterans Day also should mean something more, an inspiration to win a lasting peace.
As President Dwight Eisenhower once proclaimed on Veterans Day: “Let us reconsecrate ourselves to the task of promoting an enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain.”
See my full commentary in the Des Moines Register:
October 28, 2017 · 2:51 pm
The National Retail Federation says Halloween spending on candy and costumes will reach 9.1 billion this year.
To put that in perspective, the U.S. Food for Peace program, which fights world hunger, normally gets around 1.5 billion in funding a year.
The U.S. McGovern-Dole program, which feeds hungry school children overseas, might get 200 million a year from Congress.
Now imagine if even just a portion of that 9.1 billion from Halloween went to feed the hungry. The ghost of Halloween’s past tells us it can.
See my full commentary at Newsweek.
October 11, 2017 · 3:12 pm
Co-authored with Brenna Gautam, a J.D. Candidate at Georgetown University Law Center.
Imagine waking up tomorrow and having to flee your home with only the food and supplies you can carry, not knowing when or if you will ever be able to return.
Your homeland could be a paradise: its climate dips into lush tropical temperatures, and its mountain ranges soar to beautiful heights. But as a displaced person, heavy rains and heat slow your escape, and the mountains become a death trap, stranding thousands of your people without food.
No matter how dangerous escape is, you can’t go back: there is only “fires, bullets, knives” from where you came. So, you keep forcing yourself forward, stumbling onwards for miles over rough terrain. There is no end in sight, and the hope of finding safety as a refugee beyond your own borders seems idealistic at best.
This situation is playing out in the lives of hundreds of thousands of people fleeing Myanmar. Conflict has erupted in Mynamar’s Rakhine state. The government is driving out members of the Rohingya minority: more than 200 villages have been burned and refugees have recounted harrowing stories of mass murder and rape.
See the full column at the HuffPost.
July 11, 2017 · 8:01 pm
What has been tragically lost in the debate about health care is the connection to the hunger crisis in our country. According to Feeding America there are 42.2 million people living in food-insecure households, including more than 13 million children.
As families struggle to put food on the table, they are also vulnerable to health issues from the lack of nutrition. Bread for the World estimates $160 billion a year in health-related costs because of hunger in America. Its report states, “people who can’t always afford nutritious food have disproportionately higher rates of chronic diseases and poor health.”
So as Congress debates a new health care law, members should also be considering the costs of hunger, which have such a huge impact.
See my commentary in the Buffalo News (Sunday edition, July 2nd)
May 23, 2017 · 5:08 pm
President Trump’s new arms agreement with Saudi Arabia ignores the most urgent threat in the Middle East: famine.
Yemen is on the brink of starvation because of a civil war between a Saudi-led coalition and rebels. Sending more arms to Saudi Arabia will strengthen its military machine to further wage war in Yemen. As Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said, “many of the armaments we’re providing to Saudi Arabia will help them be much more precise and targeted with many of their strikes.”
What we should be doing instead is providing food to Yemen.
See my full commentary at The Hill: