FACT SHEET: President Clinton Takes Action to Improve Nutrition for America(unknown chars)s Seniors and Families
|                                                                         |
|                PRESIDENT CLINTON TAKES ACTION TO IMPROVE                |
|                            November 22, 2000                            |
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Today, President Clinton will announce new initiatives to improve nutrition
and  food  security  among senior citizens and low-income working families,
and  strengthen  community-based  food delivery systems. The President will
make  these  announcements  while  visiting  the  Capitol Area Food Bank in
Washington,  D.C.  and  participating  in  food  distribution  efforts  for
Thanksgiving  Day  with  senior  citizen  and student volunteers.   Helping
parents   feed   their   families   and  seniors  get  healthy  food  means
strengthening  the nutrition safety net and supporting community efforts to
address  hunger.   To address these problems, the President will announce a
new program to enable senior citizens to purchase fresh produce at farmer?s
markets,  new  grants  to  support community efforts to address nutritional
assistance,  and  an  expanded federal purchase of produce to get food from
the fields into the emergency food system.  These actions will build on the
Administration?s record of promoting food security.  Finally, the President
will  call  on  Congress  to work with him in restoring benefits to certain
legal immigrants as part of this year?s budget.

Last month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a new report
indicating  that  close  to nine out of ten American households, nearly 240
million  Americans, had enough food for an active and healthy life in 1999.
The  number  of  households  that did not get enough food and the number of
households  where  one  member  was hungry have both declined significantly
between  1995 and 1999 -- 12 and 24 percent, respectively. However, despite
the  lowest  poverty  rate  in  20  years,  the  success of welfare-to-work
efforts, and new public/private anti-hunger initiatives, too many Americans
still  face  hunger  and  food  insecurity.   In 1999, more than 10 million
people  lived  in  households  that suffered directly from hunger.  To help
more  Americans get the healthy food they need, the President will take the
following  steps in partnership with state, local and tribal organizations,
private businesses, and faith-based and other nonprofit groups:

million  grant  program  to  help  low-income senior citizens purchase more
fresh  fruits  and  vegetables  at  farmers  markets,  helping  more senior
citizens  improve  their  diets  and  helping family farmers increase their
income.   USDA,  thorough  its  Commodity  Credit Corporation, will provide
funds  to  build  on  existing  state  and  tribal  farmer?s market voucher
programs  for  senior  citizens.   Such  an expansion will provide a modest
benefit  to  as many as 500,000 low-income senior citizens for purchases at
farmers markets.  Seven states (Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New
York,   Pennsylvania,   South  Carolina,  and  Vermont)  and  three  tribes
(Chickasaw  National  and  Osage,  Oklahoma; Choctaw Band, Mississippi) now
have  senior  farmers market coupons.  These grants will support and extend
the  existing  initiatives,  as  well  as  allow other states and tribes to
develop  such  programs.   Many  states  now  operate a similar program for
low-income  families  with young children, the WIC Farmers Market Nutrition

will  announce  $2.4  million  for  16  Community  Food  Project Grants for
nonprofit  groups  in  13  states  (California,  Colorado, Florida, Kansas,
Massachusetts,  Missouri,  Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, South Dakota,
Texas,  Vermont,  and Washington) to meet the needs of low-income people by
increasing  their  access  to fresher, more nutritious food; increasing the
self-reliance  of  communities  in  providing for their own food needs; and
promoting  comprehensive  responses  to  local  food,  farm,  and nutrition
issues.   USDA also will release a new report outlining the accomplishments
of the USDA Community Food Security Initiative. This report details how the
Administration   has  worked  in  all  fifty  states  to  help  faith-based
organizations  and  nonprofit  groups  reduce  hunger,  improve  nutrition,
strengthen  local  food  systems,  and  help  families move from poverty to
self-sufficiency.  The  report  shows  that,  following  the first National
Summit  on  Food  Recovery  and Gleaning keynoted by Vice-President Gore in
1997,  USDA  employees  across  the  nation helped glean or recover over 13
million  pounds  of nutritious food, which was distributed to the hungry by
faith-based  organizations  and  other  nonprofit  groups  at  virtually no
additional  cost  to  the Federal government.  The President will challenge
federal  employees  in  the next Administration to sustain these impressive

Expanding purchase of fruits and vegetables for distribution in communities
through schools, food banks, and meal programs. The Administration will use
its  new  authority to dramatically increase the amount of food supplied to
food   banks  and  other  community-based  feeding  programs.   Legislation
reforming  the  crop  insurance program signed by the President on June 20,
2000  authorized $200 million in commodity purchases, which will go to food
banks, school meals, food pantries, senior feeding programs, soup kitchens,
and  other  government  supported feeding programs.  These purchases are in
addition  to  the  $100  million  per year in mandatory commodity purchases
through   The   Emergency   Food   Assistance   Program  (TEFAP)  and  USDA
discretionary buys, which were over $100 million this year.

SupportING  Bipartisan  Efforts  to  Address  Domestic  Hunger.  While good
nutrition  is  one important aspect of strengthening America?s families, we
also  must  continue  our  prosperity by giving working families support to
succeed.   The  President will call on Congress to join him in enacting his
budget  proposal  to  restore  food  stamp benefits to legal immigrants and
provide  other  supports  for  working families like increasing the minimum
wage,  improving  child  support  and promoting responsible fatherhood, and
making investments in child care.

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