WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) introduced a bipartisan resolution designating the week of October 5 through October 9 2020, as “Malnutrition Awareness Week.” Malnutrition is a significant problem in the United States and occurs when a person does not get enough nutrients. The resolution recognizes registered dietitian nutritionists and other nutrition professionals, health care providers, social workers, and advocates for their efforts to advance awareness and to prevent malnutrition. The resolution also recognizes the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on vulnerable populations and supports emergency funding for federal nutrition programs to combat malnutrition. 

Disease-associated malnutrition in older adults alone costs the United States more than $51,300,000,000 each year. Malnutrition also disproportionately impacts children. 13.9 million children live in a household characterized by child food insufficiency, and the rate of households with food insufficient children was more than five times as many as the rate in 2019.

“It’s important to realize how malnutrition and food insecurity contributes to poor health outcomes—and this problem has only gotten worse with COVID-19. Millions of Americans are going hungry, including the most vulnerable among us – seniors and kids. Increasing access to healthy, affordable food through our federal nutrition programs is critical to reducing malnutrition and improving quality of life. I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan resolution to help bring awareness to this serious problem we’re facing,” said Murphy.

“Food insecurity and insufficiency affects people of all ages and from all walks of life. As a long-time champion for American agriculture, I don’t hesitate to speak up for the family farm. As we recognize Malnutrition Awareness Week next month, I’ll continue to stand strong for policies that allow farmers to be most productive, strengthen food security and ensure people across the nation have access to safe, affordable and nutritious food to eat,” Grassley said.

Joining Murphy and Grassley in introducing this bipartisan resolution are U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Angus King (I-Maine), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and Ben Cardin (D-Md.)

Full text of the resolution can be found here.