Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) was in Suffolk last Thursday to distribute food at the East End Baptist Church food pantry where he spoke about his healthy food access bill he has co-introduced in Congress. Titled the Healthy Food Access for All Americans Act (HFAAA), this bipartisan bill would establish a new tax credit and grant program to stimulate investment and healthy nutrition options in food deserts.
“Every person, regardless of where he or she lives, deserves reasonable access to nutritious food. I co-introduced this bill to help the thousands of families in my congressional district who live in areas where food access is a problem,” said Congressman McEachin. “The Healthy Food Access for All Americans Act would incentivize nonprofit organizations and grocery stores to support successful food partnerships like the one we saw today. This bill gets us closer to achieving our goal of eliminating food deserts.”
The Congressman said he is committed to addressing hunger, and food insecurity felt across the 4th Congressional District, and across the country.
In attendance was Dr. Ruth Jones Nichols, CEO of the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore, who said, “For so many Americans with limited financial resources, putting healthy food on the table is a challenge. Sometimes our food pantry partner network is a family’s immediate option for consistently accessing fresh fruits, vegetables and protein.
Jones praised the bill, adding that it would expand the work of the Foodbank and pantry partners “by bringing more markets or grocery stores into neighborhoods so families can experience increased access to nutritious, affordable food.”
Yvonne Green, Food Pantry Director of the East End Baptist Church, said, “We are thrilled to be here today with Rep. McEachin and our friends from the Foodbank. We couldn’t exist without the food we receive from the Foodbank, and this bill will help them provide more fresh food to organizations like us.”
This bill was also introduced in the United States Senate by Senator Mark Warner. If signed into law, the HFAAA will incentivize food service providers such as grocers, retailers, and nonprofits.