(Article was published at Bread for the World web site a week ago)
In a week, President-elect Donald J. Trump will be sworn in as our nation’s 45th president. The job of president is an awesome responsibility that requires the president to be the leader of all Americans – not just those that supported him in the election.
Trump must be the president to rich people, poor people, and all between. The powerful and excluded. In addition, the United States is a powerful nation and what we do matters to other countries.
As a Christian organization, Bread for the World is guided by core values. We seek to be effective, civil, and bipartisan advocates with and for hungry people. We are committed to social justice, diversity, and servant leadership. Grounded in God’s love, we speak truth to power. We want the president to do his part to put our nation and the world on track to end hunger by 2030.
The number of people in extreme poverty has dropped from two billion in 1990 to fewer than 800 million people today. Progress has been dramatic in countries as varied as Bangladesh, Brazil and Great Britain. So, dramatic progress is surely possible in the United States as well.
With that in mind, Bread sent Trump a letter laying out six meaningful legislative steps he could take during his first year in office that will cut hunger in half in the U.S. and around the world. More legislation gets passed in the first year of a new presidency than at any other time during a presidential term. So this year is very important.
“With economic growth and focused effort, you can cut hunger in half in the U.S. and worldwide within the next eight years,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World in the letter. “You have made bold promises of prosperity for struggling communities across the country, and you recognize the link between global security and world hunger. Cutting hunger in half within eight years is possible, and we can imagine you setting the goal and making it happen.”
The six steps Trump can take to cut hunger in half are:
Create Jobs and Build Infrastructure
Trump has spoken about an infrastructure initiative that could lead to job creation and the rebuilding of our nation’s highways, roads and more. A good job is the best way out of hunger and poverty, and improving the nation’s infrastructure is critical to staying competitive.
Consistent with his pledge to make a difference in inner cities and the heartland, the president-elect could focus positive initiatives in communities that have high levels of persistent or concentrated poverty. The cost of concentrated poverty is high — in terms of violence, safety, poor nutrition and health, low productivity, and despair. The infrastructure initiative could create jobs that pay and also bring prosperity to many currently living in blighted neighborhoods.
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