Statement of Rev. David Beckmann, President of Bread for the World, On America's Second Harvest Report: Hunger In America 2001

Bread for the World
Wednesday, 14 November 2001

"I applaud Second Harvest for this compelling and important study. It should be a call to action for all of us who care about hungry people.

"The report's findings of an increasing number of people who turn to food banks for emergency assistance should be a wake up call to Congress. The evidence is clear: hunger is on the rise, and the fastest and most effective way to reduce hunger is to boost funding for the Food Stamp Program. With the economy slowing, now more than ever is the time to strengthen and simplify the Food Stamp Program to meet the basic needs of hungry people. Food banks perform heroic work on the front lines in the fight against hunger, but they cannot be a substitute for a strong Food Stamp Program. Congress has slashed funding for food stamps and it's unrealistic to believe that food banks alone can pick up the slack.

"Congress can do something about this and the initial signs of bipartisan support in the Senate are very encouraging. In contrast to the last farm bill, when food stamp spending was gutted, it is an especially welcome development to see a new, bipartisan consensus emerge behind a stronger, simpler and better-funded program. Senators Lugar and Harkin have introduced landmark nutrition proposals that begin to show us the answer to the challenges laid out in the Second Harvest report."

For more information, or to contact Bread for the World, see their website at: www.bread.org

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