Vice President Harris speaks on food insecurity during visit to Jacksonville

Vice President Kamala Harris discussed food insecurity in Jacksonville on Monday.

Vice President Kamala Harris visited Jacksonville on Monday as part of a national tour touting the success of the recently passed US rescue plan.

For many Americans, the $ 1,400 check sent to each person is the most obvious part of the stimulus bill. But the vice president said she and President Joe Biden wanted Americans to know more help is coming.

The bill will provide over $ 1 billion in rental support to Floridians and lift hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty, according to a statement by the Duval County Democratic Party released Monday afternoon. It will also provide more food aid to the 3.5 million Floridians receiving SNAP benefits.

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Harris said Monday afternoon at Jacksonville Food Bank Feeding Northeast Florida that she was particularly concerned about hunger among children.

“The idea that there are children in America who go to sleep hungry at night.” Said Harris. “What it means to families in terms of suffering and what we talk about in terms of its effects on our children and their ability to develop and achieve their God-given ability.”

During her visit, Harris spoke to state and local leaders including Susan King, CEO of Feeding Northeast Florida, Nikki Fried, Florida commissioner, and Diana L. Greene, superintendent of Duval County Schools.

“What we’ve seen here in our city is the faces of food insecurity have changed,” said Garrett Dennis, Jacksonville city councilor, who also spoke to Harris at the event. “They have working families who now need to turn to such food agencies for their grocery needs.”

One in six seniors and one in four children in northeast Florida does not have enough to eat, according to Feeding Northeast Florida. According to the left-wing Think Tank Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, one of the problems food insecure Floridians face is that about $ 1.40 per person per meal provided through SNAP benefits – sometimes referred to as grocery stamps – is cost does not realistically reflect food in 2021.

Superintendent Greene told the vice president about the school system’s efforts to help students get enough to eat during the pandemic, including shipping backpacks of canned food on Fridays so the kids can have something to eat over the weekend.

“I remember when our greatest President said:” People will never notice and do not remember what we are saying for a long time, but they will never forget what we did here, “said US Representative Al Lawson, who represents part of Northeast Florida, and referred to the words of Abraham Lincoln at the Gettysburg address, “And I know we will never forget that our Vice President and President here are helping to save America.”

Feeding in northeast Florida distributed 53 million pounds of food during the pandemic, an 82 percent increase from the previous year.

Contact Sydney Boles at [email protected] or on Twitter at @sydneyboles.

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