USA (MNN) — One in eight people worldwide are malnourished, and every four seconds someone starves to death.
According to last year's State of Food Insecurity in the World report published by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 98% of hungry people live in developing nations, where 15% of the population is undernourished.
Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca once said, "The day that hunger is eradicated from the earth, there will be the greatest spiritual explosion the world has ever known. Humanity cannot imagine the joy that will burst into the world."
New U.S. legislation is tackling hunger issues head-on. Brought before Congress earlier this week, the Global Food Security Act of 2013 sets forth a strategy to increase agricultural development, reduce global hunger, and improve nutrition.
U.S. President of Food for the Hungry (FH), Dave Evans, says the act incorporates biblical Truths.
"God is a God who loves the poor, and you know, He desires both spiritual and physical well-being," says Evans.
Deuteronomy 15:11 states, "There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land."
John, one of Christ's disciples, underlines the call in 1 John 3:17-18: "If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth."
Introduced to Congress by Representative Betty McCollum, with the help of fellow Representatives Aaron Schock and Jim McGovern, the Global Food Security Act of 2013 directs the U.S. president to improve global nutrition, food security, and agricultural development.
"This legislation allows us to strengthen that circle of protection," says Evans. "It is geared toward smallholders: people growing, believe it or not, food on less than an acre. This might be an entire family trying to feed itself on less than an acre of land."
On the surface, the act seems to only have application for U.S. citizens.
"A really small percentage of your tax dollar, less than one-half of 1% goes to programs like this," says Evans. "That is a very small amount of money, but it is crucial that it not be cut further."
But, Evans says there's a message for the world, too.
"The United States really believes–and continues to believe–that we have a role to play in helping poor nations to develop," he states.
"We've been helping many nations for years and years, and this is one more way that we can do that."
The Global Food Security Act of 2013 would help groups like Food for the Hungry bring physical and spiritual food to the nations. Click here to find your Representative and encourage him or her to support this legislation.
"This isn't passing out fish for a day," says Evans. "This is teaching people how to fish for a lifetime."
Pray that the legislation will pass. Pray that aid groups will not be hindered from acting as the hands and feet of Christ.
FH reflects the love of Christ in short-term emergency relief and long-term work to end world hunger. Click here to learn more.