Clark toured Arlington EATS and Food Link to meet with local advocates and see how federal dollars are tackling food insecurity

ARLINGTON, MA – On Thursday, February, 16, Democratic Whip Katherine Clark (MA-5) visited two Arlington food banks to see how federal funds have helped constituents struggling with food insecurity during the pandemic. She also met with local advocates to discuss what more can be done to help battle chronic hunger.

“Tens of millions of Americans face food insecurity — a number that only grew worse during the pandemic. It was a privilege to see firsthand the dramatic impacts of Democrats’ American Rescue Plan in combating chronic hunger and meet with the incredible local leaders helping our neighbors,” said Democratic Whip Katherine Clark. “We know that hunger is a solvable problem. I’m committed to ensuring Congress continues to invest in building healthy communities and never walks away from this fight."

Clark made her first stop at Arlington EATS, a food pantry that opened its new, permanent location in November to help food insecure residents shop for food at no cost, connect vulnerable individuals with social services, and deliver food to people who are homebound. Arlington EATS currently serves more than 350 families per week.

"We were glad to host Congresswoman Clark in our new building and appreciate the ways she has been a champion for families, including the additional COVID supports, like universal lunches and supplemental SNAP benefits during the early days of the pandemic,” said Arlington EATS Executive Director Andi Doane. “We encourage her and her colleagues to protect access to food as it's a basic need for all.  Food insecurity is a solvable problem with the right policies."

Afterward, Clark visited Food Link, a nonprofit that collects and distributes high quality food to pantries and food banks across the Commonwealth. Working with local grocers and retailers, Food Link and their partners serve more than 75,000 people in the Greater Boston area.

"Food insecurity is at a historic high, yet 30-40% of the food produced in this country goes to waste, often expiring in transit or storage, or being rejected due to modern cosmetic standards. Food Link redirects these fresh, nutritious foods that would otherwise be wasted to residents throughout Greater Boston,” said Food Link Executive Director Rachel Albert. “Congresswoman Clark's long-standing commitment to the economic wellbeing of her constituents aligns with Food Link's dedication to building an equitable and just food system. We are honored to partner with Congresswoman Clark in supporting economic security while promoting a clean and healthy environment.”

Clark has long been a leader in the fight against chronic hunger and food insecurity. She voted for and helped lead passage of the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act, the American Rescue Plan, the Keep Kids Fed Act, and the Food Donation Improvement Act.

The Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA) increased SNAP benefits and reduced restrictions for single adults and students. It also increased funding for WIC benefits – which help feed nursing women, children, and infants – and provided free school meals.

The American Rescue Plan further extended these vital food benefits and funded local food initiatives such as Arlington EATS and Food Link. It also cut childhood poverty in half with a strengthened Child Tax Credit.

The Keep Kids Fed Act reduced the cost of school and child care lunches and helped ensure students have access to quality lunches over the summer break. Additionally, the Food Donation Improvement Act increased the ability of local businesses to donate unused food.

Photos from her visit can be found HERE

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