September 29, 2017

Rep. Lawson Announces Let’s Feed America Campaign on 40th Anniversary of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

TALLAHASSEE – U.S. Rep. Al Lawson (FL-5), today, launch his Let’s Feed America Campaign to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the 1977 Food Stamp Act, the landmark law that established the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

“Hunger and food insecurity is a huge problem in our area. One in every four citizens in Florida’s 5th Congressional District has been on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps) benefits at some point over the past 12 months,” said Rep. Lawson.  “This is nearly twice the national average and the second highest rate among Florida’s 27 congressional districts.”

“Six of the nine counties with the highest rates of food insecurity in Florida ---Gadsden, Leon, Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, and Duval-- are my District,” Rep. Lawson added. “As a member of the House Agriculture Committee Subcommittee on Nutrition, I care deeply about making sure that all Americans have access to food.”  

The Let’s Feed America Campaign seeks to erase hunger through several initiatives to help people in need.  The initiatives will focus on seniors, children, college students, and encourage states to continue their partnerships with the federal government in administering anti-hunger programs.

Rep. Lawson, along with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), introduced the SNAP Standard Medical Expense Deduction Act of 2017, as the first component of his Let’s Feed America Campaign.  The bill will offer seniors a standard deduction for medical expenses when applying for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and increase their food assistance anywhere from $7-$69 a month.  “This legislation eases the burden on seniors and ensures that they are not faced with the difficult decision of choosing between buying food and medicine,” said Rep. Lawson.

 Several community and anti-hunger advocates from North Florida joined Rep. Lawson at the Let’s Feed American Campaign rollout, including Rev. Earnest Ferrell, President of the Tallahassee Urban League, Rick Minor, CEO, Second Harvest of the Big Bend, a nonprofit providing millions of pounds of food to the hungry each year, and Dorothy Inman-Johnson, former Tallahassee Mayor.

Rep. Lawson intends to use his position on the House Agriculture Committee to be a passionate and bold voice to erase hunger in Florida’s 5th District, and in America, during the reauthorization of the Farm Bill to reduce hunger.