WASHINGTON, D.C. — An important organization in the movement toward reducing hunger globally, Bread for the World Institute, is a Christian-based nonprofit organization that has made a great deal of progress in bettering the world. The organization focuses on raising awareness and getting in touch with Congress members to motivate change in policies and procedures that can help to reduce hunger domestically as well as abroad.
Bread for the World Institute is comprised of a large member base and board of directors with David Beckmann serving as the president for the past 15 years. Their methods are effective and simple, revolving primarily around writing letters to and meeting with political representatives, as well as raising awareness through churches and campuses to expand the base of support. They have also sent petitions straight to the White House that have been met with success, at the very least bringing attention to the cause. The institute is proof that a little goes a long way.
According to the U.N., hunger is more fatal than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined in any given year. On average, 16,000 children succumb to starvation every day and in the U.S. alone, 14.5 percent of families lack access to adequate food. But it doesn’t have to stay that way.
Asma Lateef, a director of Bread for the World Institute, explains that there is enough food produced in the world for everyone to receive adequate nutrients, but many people simply lack access or cannot afford to get their hands on the food. To fix this problem, organizations like Bread for the World Institute emphasize improved farming techniques to maximize the potential of land that is currently not being utilized. This provides a more long-term solution, and also helps to compensate for the increased strain of future population growth on resources.
Despite the rampant starvation plaguing our world, the progress made by organizations like Bread for the World Institute and UNICEF is heartening. Bread for the World states that “more people escaped poverty during the 2000s than any other decade in history.”
The Obama administration has also responded effectively to the pleas of the hungry and those advocating for them. When the food crisis in 2008 hit, Bread for the World Institute, along with other hunger relief agencies, brought the extremity of the situation to the attention of politicians, making it clear that complacency was no longer an option. The Obama administration began to advocate heavily for food security, and while the Millennium Development Goal for 2015 to halve hunger won’t be met, Lateef explains that the progress made in the past few years has things properly set in motion.
It won’t be easy to fix global hunger problems. Climate change makes food security less attainable, population growth strains sustainability and the lack of advocacy for the cause are all obstacles to an easy path. But as Bread for the World Institute pushes sustainable innovation and gets in touch with the representatives that have the power to make a difference in how the world approaches the dire need for food in impoverished areas, the path becomes a bit clearer and the world can move away from large instances of hunger and poverty.