November 17, 2009

Udall-Backed "Feed America Day" Unanimously Passes Senate

Legislation Encourages Donations to Feed Hungry Before Thanksgiving

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate has designated this Thursday, November 19 – exactly one week before Thanksgiving Day -- as “Feed America Day”.

Senator Tom Udall, a sponsor of the bipartisan “Feed America Day” initiative, said that in the spirit of Thanksgiving, the bill encourages Americans to skip two meals this Thursday before Thanksgiving, and instead donate the money they would have spent or food to a local charity or food bank for the hungry.

“As we approach the Thanksgiving festivities, it is my hope that individuals will take the time to think of those in their community who may be struggling to keep food on the table,” said Udall. “To miss a few meals and make a modest donation to a local food pantry is a small thing, but if many of us join together in this effort, we can have a large impact. And a large impact is what we must have if we are to keep our families and food pantries afloat this year.”

According to a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in 2008 nearly 50 million Americans -- including almost one child in four – suffered from food insecurity and struggled to get enough to eat. The figure represents the highest level of hunger in the U.S. since the federal government began keeping track. In New Mexico, food insecurity impacts 14 percent of the population. The full USDA report can be found HERE.

Continued Udall, “As the economic downturn has struck our nation, employment rates have dropped and more and more New Mexico families have had to turn to food banks and other emergency food services to meet their day-to-day needs. Our emergency food providers are being stretched to their limits to try to meet the current demand for assistance.”

S. Res. 334 was introduced by Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and co-sponsored by Sens. Tom Udall, D-N.M.; Harry Reid, D-Nev.; Mike Crapo, R-Idaho; Robert Casey, Jr., D-Penn.; Richard Lugar, R-Ind.; Richard Durban, D-Ill., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.