Dear ELCA advocates,
I am writing to share great news with you. After long months of advocacy and policy negotiations, the Global Food Security Act is now a law. Together with our advocacy partners, ELCA Advocacy worked tirelessly on this legislation for nearly two years, and we are grateful to see that all our prayerful efforts have led to this moment.
Most importantly, I am grateful for the advocacy efforts of our ELCA Advocacy Network. Your faith compelled you to speak out, and your voice definitely made a big difference; Congressional staff often told me that they heard from you and appreciated knowing that their constituents cared so deeply about this issue.
The passage of the Global Food Security Act means the U.S. will be better equipped to combat food insecurity around the world. The Global Food Security Act authorizes a U.S. international food and nutrition program called Feed the Future. The Obama Administration established Feed the Future in 2009 as a response to the global food crisis of 2007-2008, when the substantial rise in cost of food staples such as rice, corn, and wheat led to devastating effects among poor people in developing countries. By then it had become clear to many agricultural, academic, and policy practitioners that years of insufficient investments in agriculture, lack of sustainable food production and nutrition programs have exacerbated the global hunger crisis.
In recognition of this deficit, the Administration took a leading role by establishing Feed the Future, which works with small holder farmers and local governments to increase their capacity for boosting production and availability of nutritious food. But because Feed the Future was an Administrative initiative, it was important to secure congressional authorization so that the program could remain in place beyond this current presidential term.
Our advocacy efforts to urge passage of the Global Food Security Act were made possible through support from gifts to ELCA World Hunger, our church’s ministry working toward a just world where all are fed. Gifts given to ELCA World Hunger empower our Lutheran companions and their partners in places such as Cambodia, Tanzania, and Guatemala to provide nutritious meals and support smallholder farmers. And now, through our advocacy for the passage of the Global Food Security Act, we are doubling-down on our commitment to break of the cycle of poverty and hunger – for good.
Let us remain steadfast witnesses for justice in God’s world. Thank you again for your advocacy action and leadership on this issue.
Program Director for International Policy Advocacy