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McGovern Joins Chef José Andrés To Introduce The Feed Act

Bill Allows Federal Government To Pay All Costs To States To Partner With Restaurants And Provide Food To Vulnerable Populations

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Washington, May 5, 2020 | comments

WASHINGTON – Today, Rep. Jim McGovern (MA-02), Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05), Rep. Rodney Davis (IL-13), Senator Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) and Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) joined Chef José Andrés and World Central Kitchen in introducing the FEMA Empowering Essential Deliveries (FEED) Act.

The full text of the bill is available here.

This bill allows the Federal government to pay 100 percent of the cost to states and localities so that they can partner with restaurants and nonprofits to prepare nutritious meals for vulnerable populations, such as seniors and underprivileged children. These partnerships will support businesses and small farmers as the Coronavirus pandemic continues.

“Too many families are going hungry during this pandemic, and it’s not because America is running low on food,” said McGovern. “This hunger crisis is a political problem, and we need to think outside the box to solve it. As millions of restaurants and their employees struggle to get by, the FEMA Empowering Essential Deliveries (FEED) Act will give states more flexibility to provide meals for vulnerable populations while supporting local businesses at the same time. I’m proud to introduce this bill alongside Representatives Thompson and Davis and Senators Harris and Scott.”

“So many of our most vulnerable people are going without enough food and so many of our local restaurants and small farmers are struggling to get by as this crisis goes on. The FEED Act we introduced today will facilitate partnerships between small restaurants and states and local governments to provide nutritious meals to those who need them most,” said Thompson. “I’m deeply honored to have the support of world-renowned humanitarian and Chef José Andrés as we fight to support those in our communities who most need our help.” 

“If this pandemic has shown us anything, it’s the need to innovate and that’s exactly what the FEED Act does,” said Davis. “This bill helps utilize our restaurant industry, which has been hit hard during this pandemic, in a way that’s never been done before. By creating these partnerships between local governments and local restaurants, we can help get meals to people in need more quickly and help the food industry, which is a major employer and a critical part of our economy, during this difficult time.”

“Americans are experiencing greater levels of food insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, restaurants, their workers, and their suppliers are struggling,” said Harris. “I’m proud to introduce the FEMA Empowering Essential Deliveries (FEED) Act with Representatives Thompson and McGovern. This legislation will help states feed people in need while supporting local restaurants and their suppliers. We need to ensure that states have maximum flexibility so that no one goes hungry during this pandemic.”

“By supporting both families in need and our struggling restaurants, small farms and their workers, the FEED Act is truly a win-win,” said Scott. “This legislation will help our food producers and preparers partner with their states to feed families in need of a meal, and in turn ease some of the economic and personal anxiety they are all facing during this pandemic. I want to thank Chef José Andrés and our bipartisan, bicameral team for coming together to find a solution that can help millions of folks across the country.”

“Our work providing nourishment and hope in the wake of disaster has taught us an important lesson,” said Chef Andrés, founder of the relief organization World Central Kitchen. “When we empower neighbors to care for one another, and restaurants and non-profits to ensure food and nutrition are not forgotten, we give our communities an opportunity to combine response with recovery to create the possibility of a better tomorrow. I am proud to join Representatives Thompson, McGovern, and Davis and Senators Harris and Scott in this effort to make sure we reach every American in need of a humble plate of food.”

The FEMA Empowering Essential Deliveries (FEED) Act aims to provide nutritious meals to people in need in response to the Coronavirus crisis. The bill waives section 403(b) and 503(a) of the Stafford Act, which allows for FEMA to cover the cost of emergency and disaster related expenses. Under this legislation, the Federal government would cover 100 percent of the cost of disaster-related expenses, instead of the typical 75 percent. This would eliminate any state costs during the COVID-19 crisis and allow more states to take a proactive approach to distributing meals and providing more financial relief to restaurants.

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