The Christian Reformed Church, through World Renew, has a long history of doing ministry and development work focused on maternal and child health. There is an act in Congress, the Global Food Security Act, which has been added to the U.S. House of Representatives' schedule this week. This means it will be voted on in the next few days.
Alan Talens, the Health Advisor to World Renew, sees vital connections between this bill and the work that World Renew does to support maternal, newborn, and child health.
He states that, “World Renew recognizes that the critical window of opportunity to intervene to ensure survival and optimal growth for children is in the first 1,000 days of life. While recent data suggests that some of the deleterious effects on growth can be reversed up to 5 years of age, most long lasting changes happen during this precarious period.”
The Global Food Security Act will benefit women and children during the critical 1,000 days from the beginning of a woman’s pregnancy through her child’s second birthday. Proper nutrition during this period has deep impacts on a child’s brain development, the ability to grow and learn, and corresponding long-term effects on the country’s development and prosperity. Thus, this act will have enduring positive affects not only on individuals but on nations as well.
“On the other hand,” Talens states, “malnutrition early in life causes irreversible damage that can go beyond generations, resulting in economic loss for countries from diminished productivity and high, but avoidable, healthcare costs.”
This act will also continue to help many nations around the world develop smart, long-term, country-specific agriculture policies and will help to ensure that these nations independently meet their nutrition needs.
Throughout Scripture, God calls people into community and sets the expectation that they care for one another. We reflect God’s love when we call on leaders to protect the most vulnerable and marginalized people in our communities and around the world. As Christians we work toward a just world in which structures and institutions give every person the opportunity to thrive.
This act presents an opportunity to steward your voice and to urge your member of Congress to support maternal and child health throughout the world.
You are invited to call your member of Congress today at 877-847-4809 and urge them to support the Global Food Security Act when it comes to a vote this week.
Call 877-847-4809 to hear talking points and to be transferred to the capitol switchboard. You can then ask the switchboard to be transferred to your member's office.
Offices track calls and messages. Your call can have a real impact on your representative's position on an issue. If you prefer to email your Representative, visit: www.crcna.org/hungeradvocacy for more information and an email template.
You can find more information on Maternal & Child Health on the World Renew website (click here) or on the Office of Social Justice page (see below).