WASHINGTON, DC – Pennsylvania U.S. Senator John Fetterman today released the below statement following a recently released USDA Economic Research Service report on the state of food security. The report found that food insecurity increased significantly in 2022, with now approximately 1 in 8 households experiencing food insecurity. It also found that a higher number of households in rural areas (14.7%) experienced food insecurity compared to urban areas (12.5%) and that children make up almost one third of individuals (13.4 million of the 44 million) living in food-insecure households.
“The numbers in this report are disturbing. Even more astonishing is the fact that Republicans are still trying to make it harder for working families to put food on the table when food insecurity is approaching pandemic-levels. We need to be expanding these vital nutrition programs, not cutting them.”
“We are failing America’s rural communities, seniors, working families, and children. In the richest country on earth, fighting food insecurity and keeping our kids healthy should not be a partisan issue.”
As Chair of the Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Food and Nutrition, Specialty Crops, Organics, and Research, Senator Fetterman is committed to helping working families put food on the table and making sure kids get fed. He has introduced several bills on this issue, including:
- The School Lunch Debt Cancellation Act to cancel student meal debt nationwide;
- The Food Secure Strikers Act of 2023 to allow striking workers to qualify for SNAP benefits;
- The Fairness for Victims of SNAP Skimming Act, legislation to allow state SNAP agencies to reimburse SNAP recipients of benefits stolen by skimming;
- The Universal School Meals Program Act of 2023, which would provide free breakfast, lunch, and dinner to every student;
- And the Healthy Meals Help Kids Learn Act, legislation to make it easier for schools to serve quality, nutritious meals to students by permanently increasing the federal reimbursement level for school meals to help address funding challenges, enhance menus, and increase access to locally grown food.