Rise Against Hunger is committed to creating access to early childhood nutrition for all as part of our 2018 Public Policy Agenda. Around the globe, 160 million children suffer from chronic undernutrition, leaving them permanently impaired and vulnerable to disease.
Poor nutrition can prevent children from thriving, leading to stunted growth and impaired cognitive ability. Children can suffer lifelong effects including health problems, underperformance in school and lost earning potential. Worldwide, one in four children have stunted growth, with numbers as high as one in two children in some regions.
One key window of time for early childhood nutrition is the first 1,000 days, beginning during pregnancy and continuing through a child’s second birthday. Nutrition during these 1,000 days provides the essential building blocks for brain development, healthy growth and a strong immune system. Research even suggests that this 1,000 day window impacts lifelong health, including a person’s predisposition to obesity and some chronic diseases.
Undernutrition has economic impacts beyond individuals and families, costing countries billions of dollars in lost productivity and avoidable heath care costs.
Ensuring the right nutrition during the 1,000 day window helps:*
- Build a child’s brain and fuel their growth
- Improve a child’s school-readiness and educational achievement
- Reduce disparities in health, education and earning potential
- Reduce a person’s risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease
- Save more than 1 million lives each year
- Boost a country’s GDP by as much as 12%
- Break the intergenerational cycle of poverty
*Source: 1,000 Days
Among the ways Rise Against Hunger is working to ensure early childhood nutrition for all children is by supporting the Reach Every Mother and Child (“REACH”) Act (S. 1730, H.R. 4022). Read more about our support for this bipartisan legislation.
Right now, we continue to seek co-sponsors to this legislation. You can take action by writing or calling your Senators and urging them to support the REACH Act.
- Check to see if your Senator has agreed to co-sponsor the REACH Act.
- If NO, use the templates created by Rise Against Hunger partner RESULTS to contact your Senators and ask them to co-sponsor the REACH Act.
- If YES, thank your Senator(s)! Then ask them to reach out to Senate colleagues for more sponsors.
- If you have already reached out to your Senator earlier this year in support of the REACH Act, you can email, call or write again and let them know this remains an important issue to you.
To learn more about Rise Against Hunger’s Advocacy efforts, sign up to be a Hunger Champion and join us as we raise our voices to end hunger.