Lawmakers introduce bill backed by José Andrés to help restaurants, feed vulnerable

Lawmakers introduce bill backed by José Andrés to help restaurants, feed vulnerable
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A bipartisan group of lawmakers on Tuesday introduced a bill supported by celebrity chef José Andrés aimed at helping restaurants and feeding vulnerable populations during the coronavirus pandemic.

The FEMA Empowering Essential Deliveries (FEED) Act would have the federal government pay 100 percent of the cost for state and local governments to work with restaurants and nonprofits to prepare meals for populations including seniors and underprivileged children. 

It would also aim to provide support for businesses and farmers as both struggle during the economic downturn caused by the pandemic. 


Reps. Mike ThompsonCharles (Mike) Michael ThompsonVirginia Democrat introduces tax credit for electric commercial vehicles House Democrats introduce bill to close existing gun loopholes and prevent mass shootings Giffords group unveils gun violence memorial on National Mall MORE (D-Calif.), Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) and Rodney DavisRodney Lee DavisHouse passes voting rights package, setting up Senate filibuster showdown GOP attempts balancing act: Condemn Jan. 6, but not Trump McCarthy says Democrats using Jan. 6 as 'partisan political weapon' MORE (R-Ill.) and Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisMadame Tussauds unveils new Biden and Harris figures Democrats ponder Plan B strategy to circumvent voting rights filibuster Watch: Lawmakers, activists, family members call for voting rights legislation on MLK day MORE (D-Calif.) and Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Supreme Court allows lawsuits against Texas abortion ban Rapper French Montana talks opioid epidemic, immigration on Capitol Hill How expanded credit data can help tackle inequities MORE (R-S.C.) are partnering to introduce the legislation, they announced in a statement.

Harris, a former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, celebrated the bill as a way to address increasing food insecurity and support the restaurant and supplier industries. 

“We need to ensure that states have maximum flexibility so that no one goes hungry during this pandemic,” she said in a statement.  

Local partnerships would allow food to be distributed more quickly during the pandemic, Davis said.

“If this pandemic has shown us anything, it’s the need to innovate and that’s exactly what the FEED Act does,” he said.

The bill would waive the portion of the Stafford Act that typically limits the Federal Emergency Management Agency to paying 75 percent of emergency and disaster expenses. With the federal government fully funding the project, states and local governments can focus on the distribution of food to those in need and financial relief to restaurants, the lawmakers said. 

“When we empower neighbors to care for one another, and restaurants and non-profits to ensure food and nutrition are not forgotten, we give our communities an opportunity to combine response with recovery to create the possibility of a better tomorrow," Andrés said in a statement. 

Andrés joined other political leaders including Rep. Rosa DeLauroRosa DeLauroNegotiators report progress toward 2022 spending deal Republicans must join us to give Capitol Police funding certainty  Democrats return with lengthy to-do list MORE (D-Conn.), in a letter last week requesting a public-private partnership to develop a food distribution plan to prevent a surplus of food designated for restaurants, schools and hotels. 

President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump lawyers to Supreme Court: Jan. 6 committee 'will not be harmed by delay' Two House Democrats announce they won't seek reelection DiCaprio on climate change: 'Vote for people that are sane' MORE approved an executive order last week to keep meat processing plants operating during the pandemic to avoid meat shortages.