AHEAD OF THANKSGIVING, CORREA LEADS CALL TO HONOR FOOD BANKS IN ORANGE COUNTY, ACROSS UNITED STATES
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Representative Lou Correa (CA-46) introduced a resolution to declare the House of Representatives’ support and gratitude for the work done by food banks, food pantries, and other community-based organizations—in Orange County and across the United States—that work to end food insecurity.
“As we come together with our friends and family this holiday season to give thanks and enjoy good conversation and even better food, we remember how fortunate we truly are. But that is not true for everyone in America. Food insecurity is a significant problem—here in Orange County and across this country,” Correa said. “Each year, I volunteer at a local food bank, Community Action Partnership of Orange County (CAP OC), and pack and hand out nutritious food boxes and other supplies to families and individuals in need—and I see first-hand the impact of the work these organizations do every day. Each and every one of these organizations deserves our thanks, and federal recognition, for the crucial work that they do to better the lives of those who call our community home.”
Specifically, this resolution acknowledges that food banks, food pantries, and other community-based organizations provide essential food assistance and other services to countless individuals across Orange County and throughout the United States. Led by Correa, it has also been co-sponsored by the entire Orange County congressional delegation, including Representatives Michelle Steel (CA-45), Katie Porter (CA-47), Linda Sanchez (CA-38), Young Kim (CA-40), and Mike Levin (CA-49).
This resolution has also been endorsed by California Association of Food Banks, Community Action Partnership of Orange County, and Feeding America.
“We are grateful to Congressman Correa for introducing a Resolution that increases visibility of the essential role food banks, pantries and community-based organizations play to address food insecurity across the nation,” said Gregory C. Scott, President and CEO of Community Action Partnership of Orange County. “Millions are struggling with food insecurity and Community Action Partnership of Orange County’s Food Bank is seeing early pandemic-level highs of people in our communities seeking assistance. We are proud to be a resource in Orange County and are honored that our commitment to help hasn’t gone unnoticed.”
Currently over 300,000 citizens living throughout Orange County are unsure of their next meal—and over 20% of them are children under the age of 18. Additionally, 27% of Orange County children under the age of 5 are living in poverty across the County. Those children, families, and seniors facing food insecurity are also at a significantly higher risk of malnourishment, depression, heart disease, and heart failure.
“Since March 2020, I've witnessed the Herculean efforts of our food bank network—working around the clock and constantly innovating to meet the needs of their communities,” said Stacia Levenfeld, CEO of the California Association of Food Banks. “Today, as food insecurity and the demand at food banks continues to rise, it’s important that we take a moment to recognize the heroes at the heart of our nation's food safety net. From the warehouse workers and truck drivers who secure and sort food to the outreach workers and communications staff that help inform the public about food programs to the all volunteer-powered pantries, every single person working behind the scenes at a food bank or food pantry deserves our deepest gratitude. I am proud to partner with such a dedicated group of people and thankful to Congressman Correa for recognizing their incredible work.”
Even with the many federal, state, and local programs, in 2022, 44 million people, including over 13 million children, lived in food-insecure households in the United States. That is the equivalent of nearly 13 percent of all households, many with children. Food insecurity costs the United States economy at least $160 billion each year in additional health costs and poor health outcomes. Children who face hunger are more likely to repeat a grade in elementary school, as well as experience developmental impairments, and they are more likely to face social and behavioral problems.
“Food bank staff and volunteers help millions of families make ends meet. They work around the clock to keep food banks, pantries and meal programs running despite sustained, heightened demand for food assistance and other challenges. This was especially true during the COVID pandemic as food bank staff and volunteers across the country?worked tirelessly, despite risks to their own safety, to make?sure our neighbors impacted by the crisis had the food they needed,” said Vince Hall, Chief Government Relations Officer of Feeding America. “The resolution introduced by Rep. Correa acknowledges the essential role food bank staff and volunteers play in the movement to end hunger, especially as we see a growing number of people experiencing food insecurity. Thank you to these heroes for their dedication, courage, and selfless service to the community.”
You can read the full text of the resolution HERE.
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