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)
A short film on school lunches in America. It was produced in 1966 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and gives historical background on this important safety net that fights child hunger in America.
What has caused tremendous hunger and suffering in the Sahel region of Africa? Drought. With drastic climate change taking place, droughts are creating food shortages in this region.
There is a crop that has tremendous resistance to drought. It is called fonio. It is a small, but very nutritious, cereal. This grain has been around so long, there are even stories of how the universe originated from it.
They are helping farmers grow more fonio, and assisting them to sell it on the market. With fonio a bigger part of the farming strategy, they will have a food supply that can grow even during times of drought. Fonio requires little water to grow.
IRD thinks fonio can be spread to many more countries to help them adapt to drought. The Feed the Future program, which the Senate still needs to vote on, also supports programs to help farmers grow fonio.
This is another reason why food and agriculture programs need support. The Food for Progress and Feed the Future initiatives can help small farmers grow fonio and other nutritious crops. Farmers can grow more resistance to drought. That is a major step to ending hunger and the threat of famine.