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Pingree, McGovern, Walorski Raise Awareness of Global Food Insecurity on World Food Day

Washington, October 16, 2020

Each year, the United States joins 150 nations and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in celebrating World Food Day to promote global awareness and action for those who suffer from chronic hunger and all forms of malnutrition. 

Representatives Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) and Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.)—co-chairs of the House Food Recovery Caucus—as well as Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) and Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.)—co-chairs of the House Hunger Caucus— today committed to ensure access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food as the COVID-19 pandemic increases food insecurity. Last year the Representatives introduced House Resolution 632 designating October 16 in 2019 and 2020 as World Food Day.

According to the latest edition of FAO’s State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World, 690 million people went hungry in 2019 - up by 10 million from 2018, and by nearly 60 million in five years. Across the planet, the report forecasts, the COVID-19 pandemic could tip over 130 million more people into chronic hunger by the end of 2020.

“As the world confronts a devastating global pandemic, we’re also dealing with unprecedented levels of hunger. A recent Oxfam report suggests that more people may die from hunger than from the coronavirus by the end of 2020, due to a drastic increase of extreme poverty worldwide. I introduced a bipartisan resolution to designate October 16th as World Food Day because it is more important now than ever to recognize the work left to do to solve the hunger crisis—both here in the United States and across the globe,” said Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine).

“Access to plentiful, nutritious food plays a key role in health and wellness and can help families and communities build stronger futures,” said Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.). “I’m honored to support the designation of a World Food Day and renew my commitment to addressing hunger, food insecurity, and malnutrition in the U.S. and across the globe. As co-chair of the bipartisan House Hunger Caucus, I’ll continue working to make nutrition a priority in Congress.”

“America has a moral obligation to lead from the heart and push for an end to world hunger. We live in a world of plenty, where local knowledge coupled with modern agriculture make it possible to feed everyone on this planet. There is just no good reason why any family or child, senior or individual has to wonder where their next meal will come from,” said Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA). “Yet the harsh reality is that close to a billion people around the world are impacted by hunger, and the coronavirus pandemic has made that number even worse. Here at home, our hunger crisis has become a hunger catastrophe as food lines stretch for blocks and more and more families fall behind. America has proven before that if we work together and build a broad coalition, we really can end hunger for so many. Programs like the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition program, Feed the Future, Food for Peace, the Maternal and Child Nutrition Program, Food for Progress, and our own domestic hunger safety net make a real and lasting difference in the lives of millions of people. Now is the time for us to redouble our efforts and find new, innovative ways to end hunger and ensure that food is a human right for all people.”

World Food Day is a yearly celebration that calls for global solidarity to help all populations, and especially the most vulnerable, to recover from the crisis. Under the 2020 theme “Grow, Nourish, Sustain, Together. Our actions are our future”, this day encourages actions to make food systems more resilient and robust so they can withstand increasing volatility and climate shocks, deliver affordable and sustainable healthy diets for all, and decent livelihoods for food system workers. 

To learn more about what actions you can take to promote better resilient food systems and healthy diets for all, please visit http://www.fao.org/world-food-day

The full text of the resolution can be found here.

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