TASK CEO Joyce Campbell (front row, second from right) with the New Jersey delegation at the National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference in Washington, D.C.
TASK CEO Joyce Campbell urged federal officials for more support to alleviate hunger and food insecurity in New Jersey and the Greater Trenton area at the National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference in Washington, D.C., which was held May 7-9. 2023.
Campbell emphasized the need to increase the amount of benefits families receive from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) when the federal Farm Bill is reauthorized later this year. Campbell and the other 20 New Jersey representatives discussed this pressing issue with some of the Garden State’s federal representatives: Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, and Congressman Andy Kim.
“They need to make sure when they are working on reauthorizing the Farm Bill, they take into consideration right-sizing SNAP benefits so that people get enough of the food they need,” Campbell said.
Besides SNAP benefits, the Farm Bill is critical to improving access to many programs and policies that are designed to ease the burden of food insecurity on our most vulnerable neighbors and the individuals we serve. It is a package of legislation passed by Congress designed to keep food prices fair for consumers, ensure an adequate food supply, and protect the country’s natural resources. Every five years, the bill expires and is updated. Officials propose and debate updates and changes before the President signs it.
“We also talked with representatives about child nutrition and advocating for schools to give meals to all children without any sort of qualifications,” Campbell added. TASK has seen an influx of children in our Escher Street dining room and at our community meal sites. We have adopted new nutritional guidelines to improve the quality of the food we serve and are working to cut back on the amount of sugar and sweet offerings included in our meals.
Attendees at the May conference also networked and brainstormed better ways they could best strengthen the quality and reach of federal nutrition programs, improve program practices and find innovative approaches to ending hunger.
“It was a really great opportunity to hear how people who are passionate about food insecurity are addressing it in their area, and to think about creative or different ways to help the people who come to us for food,” Campbell said. “It was also a way to look at federal policies and how they impact the level of hunger that we see.”
Tag: Advocacy - food insecurity - Meal Service - Partnerships - Policies - poverty - Trenton Area Soup Kitchen - Date Posted: May 15, 2023 - Author: Trenton Soup Kitchen