New legislation addresses struggle for healthy food options

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WHEC) — Congressman Joe Morelle introduced new legislation on Tuesday that would reduce food insecurity for families across the nation.

The Hunger Clearinghouse Enhancement Act will increase funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Hunger Clearinghouse Hotline to improve access to food assistance, nutrition, and social services information for families in need.

That funding will increase the authorization level from $250,000 to $750,000 to better assist families in navigating their options, and provide hunger prevention education.

He said that "More than 42 million people will experience hunger this year due to limited access to food assistance—including 13 million children.”

Rep. Morelle introduced the legislation during Nutrition Awareness Month, calling attention to the critical need to connect struggling families with healthy food options.

“We have a moral obligation to address these staggering statistics and ensure no family goes without a warm meal, especially during these already challenging times. I’m proud to introduce this legislation that will help better connect people to the resources they need, reduce food insecurity, and uplift families in crisis," said Rep. Morelle.

The clearinghouse is accessible in two ways:

1. By Phone: Call the USDA National Hunger Hotline, which operates from 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM Eastern Time. If you need food assistance, call 1-866-3-HUNGRY or 1-877-8-HAMBRE to speak with a representative who will find food resources such as meal sites, food banks, and other social services available near your location.

2. By Text: Text to the automated service at 914-342-7744. with a question that may contain a keyword such as “food," “summer,” “meals,” etc. to receive an automated response to resources located near an address and/or zip code.

The bill can be viewed here.