July 19, 2023
Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have introduced legislation to improve nutrition among older Americans. The Senior Nutrition Task Force Act of 2023 would establish an interagency taskforce to address hunger and help seniors, as well as adults with disabilities, better access healthy foods.
The House version of the bill is co-sponsored by Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick, R- Pa., and Jasmine Crockett, D- Texas. A companion Senate version of the bill is co-sponsored by Sen. Susan Collins, R- Maine, and Bob Casey, D- Pa.
According to Crockett, there is a hunger crisis among senior Americans, with “extreme attacks” on SNAP benefits making things worse. She believes the Senior Nutrition Task Force Act will give Congress the tools it needs to investigate the causes of the current food crisis. This will help lawmakers craft bipartisan legislation that gets healthy food to low-mobility American no matter where they live.
“The United States is the richest country in the history of the world, and tonight, somewhere in America, somebody’s grandma is going to bed hungry,” Crockett says. “There’s no excuse for it, and we need to get to the root causes of this problem now – not later.”
If passed, the legislation would create a task force led by its own secretary. It would include representatives from multiple government agencies and anti-hunger advocacy groups. The president would also appoint at least six members who receive federal nutrition benefits. Those members would include older Americans, adults with disabilities and members of grand families or kinship families.
The task force would be responsible for evaluating the current situation and delivering a report to Congress by Sept. 30, 2026. Sen. Casey notes that millions of Americans are facing barriers to accessing nutritious foods.
“The bipartisan Senior Nutrition Task Force Act is an important step towards tearing down those barriers and making sure our seniors and adults with disabilities get the food they need to live long, healthy, and independent lives,” he says.
The bill has been endorsed by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the Bipartisan Policy Center, and the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging.
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