TMCF’s Statement of Support for the Introduction of the Eva M. Clayton Fellows Program H.R. 3437

Hallema Sharif 
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As we celebrate the holidays and give thanks, it is with great pleasure that we announce our support of the Eva M. Clayton Fellows Bill, H.R. 3427, into the United States Congress, as introduced by U.S. Representative G.K. Butterfield (NC-1-D).  This bill will create a $60 million dollar initiative and subsequent program for distinguished faculty to fight against hunger worldwide.  It also creates a partnership between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Peace Corps for graduate students in the U.S. Peace Corps Masters International Program to work as protégés under the distinguished faculty to eradicate world hunger.

The program is further designed to enlist students and faculty members from historically black institutions spanning the U.S., like Elizabeth City State University, and land grant colleges like N.C. State and North Carolina A&T, locations that all have special interest in the fight against global hunger, with North Carolina ranking sixth-worst for food security nationally.

Students and faculty members will enroll in the fellowship program for two years with the first year being spent on campus, studying the causes of hunger at the local level. The second year will be spent abroad, working with officials from the United Nations, and partner organizations.

 “What we hope to do is not just study world hunger, but find a solution,” Butterfield said.

We recognize the world’s population to be 7 billion now, but many don’t know that 925 million people suffer from chronic hunger worldwide.  In 2010, 48 million people were classified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to live in “very low food security” and sadly this category of our citizens has doubled since 2000.  There were 45 million people in the United States who received aid through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or food stamps) in July 2011, and nearly one in four U.S. Households with children struggle to afford enough food for themselves and their families.

“This bill will empower thought leaders to seek innovations in agriculture and economics, with undeviating results, that will alleviate food crises today, as well as those yet to come.  TMCF member-school students and faculty playing a pivotal role in developing sustainable approaches to address food shortages, at home and abroad, and working towards a future where no one goes hungry is a challenge we look forward to leading,” said Thurgood Marshall College Fund President & CEO, Johnny C. Taylor, Jr.

The Thurgood Marshall College Fund whole-heartedly endorses this legislation and encourages you to call your U.S. Representative and ask him or her to join the 53
co-sponsors for this measure to help us recognize this former member’s work as an inspiration to others to pursue education in the cause of eliminating global hunger.

Please support the Eva Clayton Fellows Program bill.  Contact your Member of the U.S. House of Representatives and ask your Representative to Co-sponsor this legislation.