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Our current system often revolves around alleviating the symptoms of poverty instead of actually addressing the causes of poverty. In her response to an invitation from the National Commission on Hunger, our CEO Heather Reynolds explains why alleviating hunger is absolutely necessary, but is not enough.

“We should not design policies for an end result of families simply subsisting in their poverty…I believe in our lifetime we could see government policies designed to realistically boost those in need to a place of sustainability. In order to do this, we need to get to the core of the hunger issue. We know that people are hungry. We know that giving them food will alleviate those immediate hunger pains. But this is not a sustainable solution. To reach that answer we must ask a new question: Why are people hungry?” – written testimony by Catholic Charities Fort Worth CEO Heather Reynolds

The National Commission on Hunger was created by Congress in 2014. The commission is composed of scholars and experts tasked with reporting to Congress on ways to more effectively target USDA programs and funds. The group also make recommendations on how to utilize innovative public-private partnerships to reduce the need for these programs.

Highlights from the testimony:

Encouraging the Commission to look beyond the symptom of hunger to find solutions that address the root causes fueling the cycle of poverty.

Advocating for comprehensive case management as a promising solution that deserves more attention and investment.

Emphasizing the pitfalls and inefficiencies of the current safety net and offering solutions for a more effective strategy.

You can read the full testimony here.