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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. Recognizing that nutrition is critical in the fight against hunger, we are committed to advocating for early childhood nutrition for all.

Nutrition is such a vital part of the child and maternal health and wellbeing, especially during the critical first five years for children. In particular, the 1,000 days between a woman’s pregnancy and her child’s second birthday offer a unique window of opportunity to build healthier and more prosperous futures. Proper nutrition during those first 1,000 days can mean the difference between a promising future or one plagued by poor health and stunted growth — ultimately preventing families and communities from realizing their full potential.

One way we can influence policy on this critical issue is by supporting passage of the Reach Every Mother and Child (“REACH”) Act. The REACH Act, which has been introduced in the Senate (S. 1730) and the House (H.R. 4022), enjoys wide bipartisan support — a majority of House members and over one-third of the Senate co-sponsored the legislation.

The REACH Act was also introduced in the last session of Congress but did not pass. This year, we want to see more Senators and Representatives co-sponsoring the this legislation, and ultimately, see the REACH Act passed.

The REACH Act proposes reforms that will hold the U.S. Agency for International Development accountable for a smarter, more effective approach to ending preventable maternal and child deaths.

This bill seeks to implement a strategic approach to end preventable child and maternal deaths globally, providing accountability and transparency for U.S. foreign assistance programs. The bill would establish a five-year strategy to achieve the goal of ending preventable child and maternal deaths globally, create a Maternal and Child Survival Coordinator position to oversee this work, and require annual reporting to Congress on the progress toward these goals.

With a strategy in place that puts child and maternal health first, we will have the chance to ensure that every child, regardless of where in the world the child is born, has a healthy start in life.

Now is the time to take action on this critical legislation:

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.

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