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Thompson, McGovern, Davis Join Chef José Andrés and Share our Strength to Introduce Bipartisan FEED Act

Washington – Today Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05), Rep. Jim McGovern (MA-02), and Rep. Rodney Davis (IL-13) joined Chef José Andrés, his World Central Kitchen and Share Our Strength to introduce the FEMA Empowering Essential Deliveries (FEED) Act. This bipartisan legislation boosts the Federal government cost share to state and local governments to 100 percent so that they can partner with restaurants and nonprofits to prepare nutritious meals for vulnerable individuals.

“The Coronavirus pandemic has hit our communities hard. Restaurants are struggling to stay afloat and families are struggling to put food on the table. That’s why I reintroduced the bipartisan FEED Act, which helps restaurants and non-profits to partner with family farmers to prepare nutritious meals for vulnerable populations, such as seniors and underprivileged children, during the pandemic,” said Thompson. “I am honored to have world-renowned humanitarian Chef José Andrés and the nonprofit Share Our Strength endorse this legislation. Know I will continue working with them to ensure this bill becomes law so we can help our families and local restaurants in this trying time.”

“America’s hunger crisis has become a hunger catastrophe. As COVID-19 rages on and unemployment claims soar, a record number of Americans are now unable to put food on the table,” said McGovern. “Millions of restaurants are shuttered, countless employees are out of work, and the FEMA Empowering Essential Deliveries (FEED) Act is a solution to this crisis. It would give states more flexibility to provide meals for vulnerable populations while supporting local businesses from financial ruin. I’m proud to help introduce this important bill and look forward to working hard to get it signed into law as quickly as possible.

“If this pandemic has shown us anything, it’s that we need to be innovative in how we respond to this crisis, and that’s exactly what the FEED Act does,” said Davis. “This bill helps support our restaurant industry, which has been hit hard during this pandemic, in a way that’s never been done before. By creating these partnerships between local governments and local restaurants, we can help get meals to people in need more quickly and help the food industry, which is a major employer and a critical part of our economy, during this difficult time.”

The FEED Act was introduced with 28 other original coauthors. In addition to World Central Kitchen, and Share Our Strength, the bill is endorsed by the California Farm Bureau Federation, MAZON, A Jewish Response to Hunger and the National Restaurant Association.

“Over the last 10 months, we have seen in communities across the United States the toll of our nation’s overlapping disasters. The crisis is worse than ever before – on top of the record numbers of infected and dying Americans, millions of our countrymen are hungry and our restaurant industry, employer of 15 million people, is in deep trouble,” said Andrés. “But today more than ever we have a huge win-win opportunity in front of us: cities and states around the country can work with the federal government to keep restaurants working and communities fed – Representatives Thompson, McGovern, and Davis and their colleagues know the power of a warm meal. It is a model that works – World Central Kitchen and other organizations around the country have proven it. So let’s act with urgency to make this happen … our nation needs it!”

“For more than three decades, the restaurant industry has been our strongest ally. Chefs, restaurants and culinary professionals devote their time and talents to help us end childhood hunger – and that hasn’t stopped since the onset of this pandemic,” says Billy Shore, founder and executive chair of Share Our Strength, the parent organization of the No Kid Hungry campaign. “The FEED Act would support their partnerships with schools and community organizations working to feed children, seniors and other vulnerable people during this pandemic. The restaurant and culinary community have played a critical role in responding to this national crisis. This legislation is an important way to both support small business recovery and combat hunger.”

First introduced in the 116th Congress, the FEED Act aims to provide nutritious meals to people in need in response to the Coronavirus crisis. The bill waives section 403(b) and 503(a) of the Stafford Act, which allows for FEMA to cover the cost of emergency and disaster related expenses. Under this legislation, the Federal government would cover 100 percent of the cost of disaster-related expenses, instead of the typical 75 percent. This would eliminate any state costs during the COVID-19 crisis and allow more states to take a proactive approach to distributing meals and providing more financial relief to restaurants. You can click here to read the text of the FEED Act.

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Congressman Mike Thompson is proud to represent California’s 5th Congressional District, which includes all or part of Contra Costa, Lake, Napa, Solano and Sonoma Counties. He is a senior member of the House Committee on Ways and Means where he chairs the Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures. Rep. Thompson is Chairman of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. He is also Co-Chair of the bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Wine Caucus and a member of the fiscally-conservative Blue Dog Coalition.

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