U.S. Rep. Adams announces initiative to combat hunger, plans to participate in SNAP challenge

U.S. Rep. Adams announces initiative to combat hunger, plans to participate in SNAP challenge
June 04
00:00 2015

Chronicle Staff Report

After a roundtable discussion on child hunger at Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina, U.S. Rep. Alma S. Adams (NC-12), a member of the House Committee on Agriculture and the Subcommittee on Nutrition, on Thursday, May 28, announced the Adams Hunger Initiative.

The Adams Hunger Initiative will work to address and combat food insecurity and hunger in North Carolina’s 12th District by bringing together stakeholders, promoting investments into local communities through public and private partnerships, drafting bipartisan legislation and supporting critical food programs.

As the first action item of the Adams Hunger Initiative, Adams sent a letter to the chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway, requesting a field hearing in Greensboro to explore hunger and food insecurity in the state’s 12th District.

Adams also announced on May 28 her plans to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Challenge, to better understand the circumstances of those living on SNAP in the 12th District. The SNAP Challenge encourages participants to experience what life is like for millions of low-income Americans, many living on the average daily allowance of only $4.15. People take the challenge at various intervals, such as for a week, but some participants last only a few days.

“There are many factors contributing to the food crisis in North Carolina’s 12th Congressional District,” Adams said. “The Adams Hunger Initiative is a step in the right direction as we work to fully dedicate ourselves to addressing this issue. I am hopeful that we can educate members of Congress about the severity of this food crisis in the 12th District and bring better investments to the communities that need them most. I will remain an advocate in Congress for our critical food programs that are utilized by so many here at home.”

Adams says a report released by the Food Research and Action Center listed High Point and Greensboro as first in the nation for food insecurity. Food insecurity can be defined as having a poor nutritional diet and lacking access to food. According to the latest Census data, more than 27 percent of residents in North Carolina’s 12th District live below the poverty line, and there is a 13.8 percent unemployment rate.

More than 65,000 households in North Carolina’s 12th District receive SNAP benefits. These factors, as well as funding cuts for area food banks and cuts to federally funded programs like SNAP, influence food insecurity, Adams said.

North Carolina’s 12th Congressional District also includes food deserts, which make it hard for residents to access food. Food deserts are in areas with a poverty rate of 20 percent or greater, and in rural areas, at least one third of the population lives more than 10 miles from a grocery store.

In March, Congresswoman Adams, along with other members of Congress, sent a letter to the House Appropriations Committee requesting the committee provide full funding for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). This program provides food and funding to help states and local food banks provide services to supplement the diets of low-income Americans, including the elderly, at no cost.

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