(House of Representatives - October 13, 2011)

Text available as:

Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.


[Pages H6861-H6862]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                       CELEBRATING WORLD FOOD DAY

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from 
North Carolina (Mr. Butterfield) for 5 minutes.
  Mr. BUTTERFIELD. Let me thank the Speaker for yielding time to me 
this morning.
  As I begin my remarks, Mr. Speaker, I just want to make a brief 
remark about one of the preceding speakers, Congresswoman Barbara Lee 
from Oakland, California, who has been an advocate for poverty, food 
insecurity, human rights, and all of the global issues that we have 
talked about over the years. And I want to thank her for her leadership 
on this very important issue. Congresswoman Lee is the founder of the 
Out of Poverty Caucus here in the House of Representatives, and I am 
honored to serve as one of her cochairs.
  But the Congresswoman is absolutely correct; on this Sunday, October 
16, we will celebrate World Food Day, a day to increase awareness, 
understanding, and informed, year-round action to alleviate hunger 
across the globe and in our neighborhoods.
  The statistical evidence of pervasive and persistent hunger is 
absolutely staggering, notwithstanding the human stories of working 
families in my communities of eastern North Carolina or families in 
eastern Africa who cannot get enough food to eat on a daily basis.
  And so I want to take this opportunity to remind all the Members of 
this body that millions of Americans, millions of people suffer from 
hunger; and unless we commit to eliminating this scourge, these human 
beings will suffer persistent poverty, reduced rights, and even death. 
We must come together, Mr. Speaker, to make hunger and nutrition 
issues, these issues, a priority. It is a priority in my hometown of 
Wilson, North Carolina. We have a food bank in my community. It is 
administered by the Wilson OIC, the Wilson Opportunity 
Industrialization Center.

                              {time}  1010

  On at least four occasions, on each occasion each year, this center 
is responsible for passing out food to those suffering from food 
insecurity. I have here to my right simply a picture of the last food 
program in which citizens of our community lined up all night long to 
receive food in this community. You will see this building. It is a 
former school. Actually, I went to elementary school there many years 
ago. This was my first-grade classroom, Congresswoman Lee. This is a 
former elementary school. It is now the Wilson OIC, and citizens lined 
up all night long in order to receive food from this program.
  What a shame.
  But thank you, OIC, for your effort.
  Nine hundred twenty-five million people suffer from chronic hunger 
worldwide--one in seven people. That is an atrocious statistic. 
Shockingly, in 2011, there is still severe starvation. The worst 
drought in 60 years caused widespread hunger and starvation across the 
Horn of Africa, and we need to pay attention to the Horn of Africa. 
Globally, 12 million people are in danger of starving to death, and 
children are especially vulnerable.
  In the United States--the richest country in the world, the richest 
country that we've ever known--in our beloved country, 48 million 
people live in food insecure households, and these are yet examples of 
that. That is one in six people in our country who suffer from food 
insecurity. The recession that we talk about on this floor every day 
has exacerbated the plight of many, but the problems with food 
insecurity began well before 2007. Since the year 2000, the number of 
people classified by USDA as having very low food security has doubled. 
My district has been recently classified as the second most insecure 
district in the country.
  The Federal Government certainly needs to find ways to cut costs and 
reduce spending, but that burden should not fall heaviest on the people 
with the greatest needs. We need to continue our investments in 
agriculture research to empower scientists to develop more efficient 
and sustainable methods of production. We should maintain and improve 
our commitments to foreign aid programs through USAID, improving them 
to provide greater access to needed resources.
  Finally, Mr. Speaker, my predecessor in this office, former 
Congresswoman Eva Clayton, was a strong, clear voice on behalf of the 
hungry of the country and those abroad. During her 10 years in 
Congress, she was staunchly committed to improving access and the 
quality of food stamps, WIC, and other programs. Following her 
retirement, she was appointed the assistant director of the U.N. Food 
and Agriculture Organization.
  In this astounding legacy, we will be introducing legislation, 
probably tomorrow, to honor the work of Eva Clayton: The Eva Clayton 
Fellows Program Act of 2011. This is a wonderful

[[Page H6862]]

program. I urge my colleagues to pay attention to the introduction of 
this bill. It will be significant.