Congrats! Together, we hit our goal: raising $1,000,000 to empower Bread for the World.
I just got great news: the final update from Bread for the World about our holiday fundraiser. (Gifts just kept coming in, well into January.) At total of 3,435 of you participated — and together, you donated $425,810. With my $700,000 “double match” (of the first $350,000), we raised just over $1.1 million — far exceeding our million-dollar goal — to help build the political will to end hunger. Just thinking about what this money will accomplish fills me with joy and gratitude…and pride in the big hearts of my fellow travelers.
When I rave about the work of Bread for the World (as I have for 30 years), people often ask, “Just what does it do?” And when I say that it’s a lobbying organization, some people react with, “Why would you pay for lobbying when you’re fighting hunger?” I explain that “lobbying” is actually advocacy — and it’s more important and impactful than ever, with the Trump Administration pushing harsh policies that threaten great harm to hungry and vulnerable people.
Let me be specific. In 2019, Bread for the World — with our support — played a key role in three important advocacy achievements:
- Bread for the World mobilized its nationwide network of grassroots activists to build broad, bipartisan support in Washington for US leadership against child malnutrition overseas. Smart, new-style nutrition programs have reduced the number of stunted children around the world by 15 million in the last 7 years. Congress and the Trump Administration committed themselves to continue US support for these programs.
- Bread also plays a leadership role on funding for programs that help hungry and poor people in our own country. Bread and its partners have successfully resisted cuts to poverty-focused programs throughout the budget controversies of the last decade. And at the end of 2019 — rather than cutting these programs — Congress actually approved a long-overdue increase in funding for low-income programs (Head Start, low-income schools, child nutrition, and housing).
- Bread for the World is also leading the faith community in urging the presidential candidates to focus on help and opportunity for hungry and poor people. So far, eight Democratic candidates have posted short video statements.
2020 is a critical year in the fight against hunger. It will set long-term directions for our nation and the world, for better or worse. Bread for the World is a key player in Washington, giving a voice to the hungry. Fighting hunger is both ethical and practical — it’s the right thing to do, and it makes our world safer and more stable. In short, it’s a great investment.
I know we all have a lot on our plates these days. But many people, at home and abroad, have the opposite problem. And — thanks to the collective effort of more than 3,400 of you — we’re making a huge difference. Our friends at Bread for the World report that our initiative has injected palpable energy into the organization at the beginning of a crucial election year. If you care about ending hunger…Bread gets it done. Thanks, and congratulations to all involved!