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Bread for the World, USDA Secretary Urge Congress to End Child Hunger in U.S.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010 General News J E 4
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 23 Bread for the World offered strong support to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack as he addressed a gathering at the National Press Club today to highlight the Obama administration's priorities for reauthorizing the Child Nutrition Act.

"The health of our nation--of our economy, our national security, and our communities--depends on the health of our children. We will not succeed if any of our children aren't learning as they should because they are hungry, and cannot achieve their potential because they aren't healthy," said Secretary Vilsack. "This reauthorization is a critically important opportunity to improve the health of our children and reduce hunger in this country."

President Obama set the ambitious but achievable goal of ending child hunger by 2015, and he has asked Congress for an additional $1 billion per year over the next decade to do so. Secretary Vilsack is charged with making the President's goal a reality, largely through proposals that streamline applications, eliminate gap periods for eligible schoolchildren, and increase access to (and participation in) nutrition programs.

"When Tom Vilsack took over as head of the USDA, Bread for the World was encouraged by his initial public statements supporting greater funding for domestic child nutrition programs," said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. "We are ready to work together as he asks Congress to swiftly pass a strong Child Nutrition Act reauthorization bill that will improve the health and nutrition of America's children."

Rev. Beckmann added, "While we know food assistance to hungry people is vital, it is not enough. Progress against hunger requires broader economic efforts, such as tax policy reforms, to reduce poverty," he said. "Low-income working families need additional mechanisms to escape the cycle of poverty and provide for their families."

Bread for the World (www.bread.org) is a collective Christian voice urging our nation's decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.

SOURCE Bread for the World
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