Be an Advocate
San Antonio Food Bank President, Eric Cooper, Testifies Before Congress at the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Nutrition
On Wednesday, February 03, 2016, Eric Cooper, President and CEO, San Antonio Food Bank President and CEO, testified before Congress at the Subcommittee on Nutrition – Public Hearing: To review incentive programs aimed at increasing low-income families’ purchasing power for fruits and vegetables.
Mr. Cooper spoke on behalf of the San Antonio Food Bank, Feeding Texas, and Feeding America and the 46 million food insecure individuals the trio provides services to, which includes 12 million children and about 7 million seniors.
The sub-committee, led by Chairwoman/Majority Jackie Walorski (Indiana Congressional Dist. 2), invited Mr. Cooper to expand on efforts to reduce the health impact of hunger, including obesity and malnutrition. The Food Bank has proven success in its innovative strategies with its Health and Wellness program. The Food Bank works to improve the health of clients struggling with food insecurity through agriculture and nutrition initiatives which include increased access to fresh produce, Farmers’ Markets, the Food IQ initiative, Cooking for Diabetes classes, cooking healthy classes, gardening, and more.
It Takes More than Food to Fight Hunger
The San Antonio Food Bank (SAFB) focuses on providing emergency food support to individuals and families in need. While putting meals on the table is a temporary “leg up” during a crisis, sometimes hunger and poverty create a cycle that becomes very difficult to break without attacking the causes of the problems that create them. The SAFB is not only committed to providing emergency support, but also to working to address the systemic issues that cause hunger and poverty. We strive to do our part in feeding the hungry and providing support to the many families and individuals that live throughout our sixteen county service area.
This year Congress is enacting the Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR), a measure that is set to expire in September. Currently, Feeding America, Feeding Texas and the San Antonio Food Bank (SAFB) are advocating for our clients/kids. The opportunity for improving access and streamlining programs is upon us. We must take a stand and campaign for improving meal quality and nutrition for millions of children — particularly low-income children — in child care (the Child and Adult Care Food Program – CACFP); in school (breakfast and lunch programs); during out-of-school time (afterschool, on weekends and during the summer) and at home (the WIC Program). A difference can be made as a collective effort. Thousands of diverse national, state and local organizations are committed to a Reauthorization Bill that has a bold vision to eliminate child hunger. Our network of partners are focused to represent the voice of the thousands of individuals who feel that they do not have one. The 2015 Reauthorization Bill offers a tremendous opportunity to create and keep a future for school food in which fresh, healthy meals are common place for all children; the measure also allows them access to the type of comprehensive nutrition education that creates healthy habits for a more prosperous and productive future.
You can certainly do your part in advocating for CNR by contacting your member of congress. Action can be made in the areas of proper child nutrition programs and by making significant new investments in Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization. Encourage them not to cut any programs that have proven to make a positive impact in the lives of the individuals and families who need them most. Investing in our youth is critical and necessary to ensure that all low-income children, including those in the SAFB service area, can access enough nutritious food for an active and healthy lifestyle, and over time will move us closer towards ending childhood hunger.
The San Antonio Food Bank will continue to inform the community on issues important to ensuring healthy lives for all Southwest Texans.
Want to do More?
- Receive updates about policy issues affecting hunger and how you can make a difference, email Stephanie Smith firstname.lastname@example.org
Check back for more information on public policy related to hunger and how you can help. For additional hunger policy information visit the Food Research and Action Center website.