Congressional Update 12/1

December 2, 2009 at 6:44 am Leave a comment


Fresh Bread
Update on Washington during the 111th Congress
December 1, 2009

   In this Issue

Dr. Rajiv Shah nominated for USAID administrator

S. 1524 passes out of committee

Nearly one in four U.S. children were food insecure in 2008


  • On November 24, the administration launched the Feed a Neighbor initiative to raise awareness of hunger and encourage Americans to get involved in reducing hunger in their communities. A volunteer toolkit can be found online.
  • President Barack Obama has nominated Dr. Rajiv Shah to head the U.S. Agency for International Development. Shah, 36, is the chief scientist and Undersecretary for Research, Education, and Economics at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and has been working on the administration’s global hunger and food security initiative. Previously, he served as Director of Agricultural Development at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • Shah’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was held today, December 1, 2009.  At Fresh Bread’s deadline, the senators had finished questioning Shah and will soon vote on his confirmation.



Foreign Assistance Reform

  • On November 18, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed S.1524, the Foreign Assistance Revitalization and Accountability Act of 2009, on a vote of 14-3. Committee chair Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) said that “momentum on foreign assistance reform is reaching a crescendo” and noted that both Congress and the administration are involved.
  • Bread members continue to urge their senators to cosponsor S. 1524. The bill now has 19 cosponsors.

FY10 Budget

  • The current continuing resolution funds federal government agencies whose final appropriations bills have not yet been completed through December 18.
  • Because the Senate is now focused solely on health care, it is becoming more likely that the seven remaining appropriations bills will be folded into a single year-end omnibus bill rather than negotiated individually.

U.S. Hunger and Food Insecurity

  • On November 16, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released annual food security data for 2008.
  • More than one in seven, or 14.6 percent of U.S. households, suffered from food insecurity in 2008. The 3.5 percentage point increase from 2007 is the largest one-year increase since the USDA first began publishing data.
  • The situation was worse for children: 22.5 percent of children – nearly one in four – were food insecure. This is an increase of more than 4 million children over 2007, bringing the total to 16.7 million children.
  • Details and analysis of the food security data, including state-by-state household food security rates and child hunger rates, are available on our Web site’s food security page at


Child Nutrition

  • On November 17, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack testified before the Senate Agriculture Committee on “Reauthorization of U.S. Child Nutrition Programs:  Opportunities to Fight Hunger and Improve Child Health.”
  • Vilsack outlined the administration’s priorities for reauthorization, which include reducing barriers to participation and improving access as well as improving nutrition. Many of the proposals he described are in line with Bread’s top priorities, such as strengthening direct certification and supporting states working to end child hunger.


Send a Christmas card to your members of Congress. Wish them a Merry Christmas and ask them to make hunger a top priority as they return to work in Washington in January 2010.

Points to make:

  • Hungry and poor people in our country have been hit hardest by the recession and rising unemployment. Currently, one in every nine Americans participates in our national nutrition safety net program, SNAP (formerly the Food Stamp Program).
  • Global hunger is on the increase, beginning to reverse decades of progress against hunger. The United States has the power to help restore progress.

Send the Christmas cards to:

Sen. _____
U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510
 or   Rep. _____
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Bread for the World Open House in Portland Oregon Food Bank Action Alert on After School Meal Program

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