Lawmakers have introduced a bill, backed by chef José Andrés, which aims to help restaurants feed the vulnerable in the coronavirus crisis.
If passed into law the FEMA Empowering Essential Deliveries (FEED) Act would have the federal government pay 100% of the cost for state and local governments to work with restaurants and non-profits to prepare meals for populations, including seniors and underprivileged children.
It would also provide much-needed support to farmers and suppliers, many of whom are struggling to sell their produce as restaurants are no longer operational.
The bill was introduced by former Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris in partnership with a bi-partisan group.
“We need to ensure that states have maximum flexibility so that no one goes hungry during this pandemic.” - Kamala Harris.
The bill is backed by influential chef Jose Andres, who has been lobbying hard for food security issues throughout the pandemic.
“When we empower neighbors to care for one another, and restaurants and non-profits to ensure food and nutrition are not forgotten, we give our communities an opportunity to combine response with recovery to create the possibility of a better tomorrow," Andrés said in a statement.
The food supply chain is beginning to suffer the stress in the US as the effects of the pandemic hit. Last week, President Trump approved an executive order to keep meat processing plants operating during the pandemic to avoid meat shortages.