To help end world hunger, we must commit to a strategy that for too long has been ignored by global and U.S. leaders: Level the playing field for women and girls.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, is the nation’s most important food assistance programs for low-income Americans, and one of its most important anti-poverty measures.
Former Representative Leonor Sullivan (D-Mo.) was one of only 11 women in the House in 1953, and came to Congress determined to help her constituents. Sullivan’s legislative strategy, aided by growing urban, Democratic power in the House, eventually led Congress to approve food stamp “pilot projects,” which ultimately laid the groundwork for SNAP.
Nearly 9 million Americans who receive Social Security and SNAP. For those Americans, Social Security’s cost-of-living adjustment increases can be a blessing, providing extra cushion as prices go up. But they can also be a curse, taking away when SNAP benefits are needed the most.
Front and Center is a groundbreaking series created in partnership with the Magnolia Mother’s Trust, which aims to put front and center the voices of Black women who are affected most by the often-abstract policies debated at the national level.
“The last time I applied for SNAP, they told me I made too much to qualify. So, I’m not making enough at work to be able to care for my people, and at the same time I can’t get food stamps? It doesn’t make any sense. … And what we do bring home goes toward rent. And just like the Rental Assistance Program, as soon as I’m making a little bit more money—boom, I’m paying the full amount of rent. So how can we ever save? How can we ever do better for ourselves?”
Across Africa, women working with The Hunger Project are making incredible strides to end hunger.
From learning how to make a new dish to sell through YouTube, to growing a garden full of vegetables, women are at the forefront of a world where hunger no longer exists.
Thousands of Afghan women entered the United States as part of Operation Allies Welcome. Still, they continue to be hampered by the lack of a simple, straightforward and reliable way to obtain permanent legal status and to become citizens.
Congress can change that by passing the Afghan Adjustment Act (AAA), which was reintroduced this summer by a bipartisan group of senators and representatives. AAA would allow Afghans paroled into the United States to apply for their green cards, provided they met basic background checks and other eligibility requirements.
Congress is once again at a complete gridlock, barreling toward a government shutdown. Pundits are placing bets about the length of a potential shutdown, which party will cave first, and which government programs will be brought to a standstill.
But what has been minimized by some as merely a political temper tantrum will also have a deep and scarring impact on the 40 million Americans facing hunger.
Programs like SNAP, WIC and the child tax credit work effectively when they are sufficiently funded. Oh, and every dollar invested in WIC generates about $2.50 in healthcare cost savings. Shouldn’t this be a no-brainer?
Back for its third year, Front and Center is a groundbreaking Ms. series that offers first-person accounts of Black mothers living in Jackson, Miss., receiving a guaranteed income. First launched in 2018, the Magnolia Mother’s Trust is about to enter its fifth cohort, bringing the number of moms served to more than 400 and making it the longest-running guaranteed income program in the country. Across the country, guaranteed income pilots like MMT are finding that recipients are overwhelmingly using their payments for basic needs like groceries, housing and transportation.
Beginning tomorrow, then twice monthly, you’ll hear directly from MMT moms on how the year of guaranteed income has impacted their life. We’ll hear from MMT alumni, as well as women in the current cohort, who will share their goals for the year and hopes for their future.
Last summer, almost one year after the Taliban takeover, I spoke to 17-year-old Farzana about her life in Kabul. Now, two years since the U.S. withdrew their troops, Farzana, 18, feels she has very little to live for.
“It has been two years and the future looks dark. It’s not being alive, and not being dead. We have permission for neither. … I had the hope to be a great athlete and leader in the world—a leader for Afghan women. These are still my hopes and my goals, and even in this hard situation, I am doing my best to get an opportunity to find a university outside of Afghanistan.”
Vice President Harris and Israeli President Isaac Herzog just announced $70 million in funding—half from the U.S. and half from Israel—for climate-smart agriculture to capture, store, use and protect water resources in the Middle East and Africa. And it’s no accident a project like this was put forward by the first female vice president in United States history who is a woman of color.