Letter: Utah’s senators can help fight hunger by reauthorizing the Global Food Security Act

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Senators Mike Lee and Mitt Romney are shown on Wednesday, April 20, 2022.

My parents grew up in poverty. As child refugees, their families left behind all that they had. What mattered most was having each other, and the means to eat and stay well, so they could work hard and earn back all they had lost.

While we Americans have helped to provide emergency food relief (including resources for the Horn of Africa several times this year already), the global response has not met the global need. I have been face-to-face with children whose bellies were distended from malnutrition when I lived in Uganda. And I saw the gratitude in their mothers’ eyes when they were empowered to help them be well.

Worldwide acute food insecurity has almost tripled in the last three years to 345 million people. The pandemic and war in Ukraine, timed with historic drought, has led to a child hospitalized for acute malnutrition every minute in Somalia.

The Global Food Security Reauthorization Act of 2022 continues the 2016 bipartisan GFSA, which has played a key role in addressing the root causes of food insecurity. Millions of families are no longer hungry because of its Feed the Future program. Those vital resources and programs are at risk because the bill might expire if the Senate doesn’t pass it.

Sens. Mitt Romney and Mike Lee have much to be thankful for. By co-sponsoring S4649, the Global Food Security Reauthorization Act, they can help lessen the severity of acute food insecurity today and plant seeds for a secure future for everyone.

Naresh Kumar, Salt Lake City

Submit a letter to the editor