Leahy Is Part Of Bipartisan Group Reaffirming U.S. Commitment To Fighting Rising Food Insecurity Ahead Of World Food Day

(FRIDAY, Oct. 15, 2021) -- In a resolution, U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and John Boozman (R-Ark.) celebrate World Food Day and recommit to fighting hunger in the face of rising food insecurity around the world. Last week, the senators passed a resolution designating October 16, 2021 and 2022 as World Food Day. U.S. Representative Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) has introduced a companion resolution in the House of Representatives.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated food insecurity, and an estimated 928 million people across the world are currently experiencing hunger. The World Food Day resolution recognizes the important role the United States plays in combatting hunger worldwide and promotes further action to help people suffering from hunger and malnutrition.

“As we work to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important we reaffirm our country’s commitment to fighting food insecurity,” said Senator Coons. “In addition to providing life-saving food assistance, we must also work to build a more resilient and sustainable global food system that protects vulnerable people at home and abroad.”

“Now more than ever, it is imperative that we continue to invest in resilient and sustainable food systems,” said Senator Stabenow. “It is unacceptable that anyone should experience hunger. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the urgency to address the hunger crisis that has touched so many families across the world.” 

“The pandemic highlighted the global hunger crisis and reinvigorated our responsibility to provide greater food security in our local communities and in towns, cities, and villages around the world,” said Senator Moran. “The call to feed the world has been answered by many Kansans, who are taught at a young age that it is our duty to help those in need. As the co-chair of the Senate Hunger Caucus, I believe that combatting hunger is not only the morally right thing to do; it is also the smart thing to do both for Kansas producers and for global security.”

“No one should have to worry about where their next meal is going to come from. This important work has never been more urgent, as the global pandemic forced millions more people around the world into poverty and food insecurity,” said Senator Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and a former Chairman of the Agriculture Committee. “As the climate crisis worsens, investments in food security and food system resilience are not just a moral imperative, but economic and strategic ones as well. World Food Day gives us a chance to not only acknowledge these concerns, but work toward meaningful ways to address them.”

“World Food Day serves as a call to action, a reminder of our responsibility to help those in need, and an opportunity to recognize the many who have stepped up to champion the fight to end hunger and malnutrition around the globe and in our individual communities,” said Senator Boozman. “If we truly want to end world hunger, the U.S. must pledge to continue our leadership efforts on the global stage. We introduced this resolution to not only highlight World Food Day, but to reaffirm U.S. commitment to the goals behind the designation of this day. I am pleased the Senate quickly united alongside our effort.”

“Hunger and malnutrition rates have been on the rise for years, and the pandemic has significantly exacerbated this problem here in the U.S. and around the world. Food security is a human right, and we must fight to increase access to healthy food, reduce food waste, and acknowledge the scale of the problem. That’s why I’ve introduced a bipartisan resolution to designate October 16th as World Food Day,” said Representative Pingree. “The United States has a critical role in the global fight against hunger and I hope this resolution will inspire my colleagues in Congress to support programs and policies that strengthen food security around the globe.” 

Each year, the United States joins more than 130 countries and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in celebrating World Food Day to promote global awareness and action for all who suffer from malnutrition. This year also commemorates the 76th anniversary of the FAO, established in Hot Springs, Virginia on October 16, 1945.

"FAO North America appreciates the United States' longstanding and consistent leadership in addressing global hunger and building resilience in global agri-food systems,” said Jocelyn Brown Hall, Director of FAO North America. “World Food Day and these resolutions highlight the challenges and solutions associated with the establishment of more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable agri-food systems. These collective efforts are a step towards ensuring a food-secure world where no one is left behind."

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