The average U.S. senator spends up to 70% of his or her food budget...
...doing things besides passing a farm bill. The rest is used to stall debate on said bill before he or she can go home and have (one would hope) nine servings of fruit and vegetables over Thanksgiving.
Which is too bad, because this article that just popped up over on the front page at Yahoo News has a lot to say about issues affected by the farm bill: nutrition, obesity, rural development, and much more.
One quote gets especially close to the issue:
"Americans typically spend 15 percent of their food budget on fruits and vegetables but based on our price survey, low-income families would have to spend 40 to 70 percent of their budget on fruits and vegetables," Cassady said. "We really need to rethink what kind of educational campaigns, what kind of advice we need to give low-income families. The food stamp allocation could and probably should be increased and the government can do even better bringing in more farmers' markets and very low-cost sources of fruit and vegetables."
The extensive studies cited in the article also point out the much higher prevalence of convenience stores in rural areas than grocery stores, a fact also underlined in this year's Offering of Letters video from Bread for the World.
A thought for a potentially effective and meaningful advocacy tool - is your senator holding a town hall meeting during the Thanksgiving recess? If not that, are you able to set up a meeting at his or her office in your area? If so, bring a basket or bag of fruits and vegetables along and let them know how the stats in the above article effect your state...and how both you and they can be thankful to even have that produce to show and tell. Other thoughts? Share them below!
And then tell them to get back to work on the farm bill before Christmas.
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