Hunger-Free Communities Act

Sat, 07/01/2006

Senator Mary Landrieu, Congressmen Rodney Alexander and Richard Baker are the only members of Louisiana’s congressional delegation that signed as cosponsors for the Hunger-Free Communities Act. The Hunger-Free Communities Act of 2005 has been introduced in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. On May 25, 2005 Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Gordon Smith (R-OR) and Richard Lugar (R-IN) introduced S. 1120. The following day, Representatives Tom Osborne (R-NE-3) and Jim McGovern (D-MA-3) introduced companion legislation, H.R. 2717. This legislation strengthens our nation’s commitment to ending the scourge of hunger in this country and would empower local groups to work together on solutions that fit the circumstances in their communities. Bread for the World is working with America’s Second Harvest: The Nation’s Food Bank Network, MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, and other anti-hunger groups to urge the bills passage. S. 1120 and H.R. 2717 would: Renew the commitment of our nation’s leaders to the goal of cutting food insecurity in half in the United States by 2010, and set a new goal to end U.S. hunger by 2015. ✔ Reaffirm the goal of cutting hunger and food insecurity in half by 2010. ✔ Establish a new goal to end hunger in the United States by 2015. ✔ Require the Secretary of Agriculture to report annually on progress toward these goals. ✔ Affirm the need for adequate funding for and to preserve the entitlement nature of food stamps and other national nutrition programs. Strengthen the efforts of local and statewide groups and programs that provide food, action, or outreach to help people overcome hunger at a local level. ✔ Create a grant program to increase federal funding available to community-based anti-hunger organizations that: ◆ Authorizes $25 million for local groups that work together to assess, plan and implement local strategies to end hunger; ◆ Authorizes $20 million for emergency feeding organizations to improve their infrastructure and expand their capacity to distribute food to hungry people; and, ◆ Authorizes $5 million for national and regional groups to provide training and technical assistance to community-based anti-hunger organizations. Authorize research to improve and strengthen the policies that help fight hunger. ✔ Require the annual collection and analysis of food insecurity and hunger data at the county, state, and federal levels.