Living in the breadbasket of our nation, it can be difficult to comprehend the prevalence of hunger around the world. Yet hunger is real, and it threatens the future of millions of people every day. As I travel through Kansas witnessing farmers harvesting thousands of acres of crops and seeing grain bins filled to the brim, my commitment to making certain our homegrown food reaches a hungry world is strengthened.

While our country's collective moral convictions make fighting hunger the right thing to do, the benefits we receive as a nation from reducing global food insecurity also make it the smart thing to do. When countries are without food, violence and chaos are sure to follow. Food assistance provided by the United States leads to greater stability in regions of the world important to America's strategic interests. As a member of the Senate Agriculture and State & Foreign Operations Subcommittees, I fight for international food aid programs and agriculture research and development initiatives to help reduce hunger and promote stability in the world.

Recently, the World Food Program USA honored me with the McGovern-Dole Leadership Award for my bipartisan leadership in advancing U.S. efforts to address global hunger. Senator Dole has long represented the compassionate spirit of Kansans and the farmers who feed the world, and I’m honored to have received this award that was rightly named after him.

I also see how Kansans react to this problem with compassion and a genuine desire to see people prosper in our own communities. In my effort to represent this spirit of Kansans, I co-chair the Senate Hunger Caucus and am working to raise awareness about issues surrounding hunger. To help rural Kansans living in food deserts gain access to nutritious food, I introduced bipartisan legislation that incentivizes food providers to establish themselves in communities where people lack access to healthy, affordable food. The Healthy Food Access for All Americans Act encourages the construction and establishment of grocery stores, food banks and farmers markets in areas that lack these services. This bill would incentivize food providers to expand access to healthy foods in these underserved communities and reduce the number of food deserts nationwide.

I remain committed to the goal of ending hunger in Kansas and around the world.