Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) will chair the Senate Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Food and Nutrition, Specialty Crops, Organics, and Research in the 117th Congress. The subcommittee’s jurisdiction includes oversight of programs regarding food and nutrition assistance, school meals, non-program crops, organic production, and research; and more.
Booker said, “Our nation’s food system is fundamentally broken. While big agriculture conglomerates get richer and bigger, our family farmers continue to struggle and tens of millions of families face food insecurity and a lack of access to affordable, nutritious food. The COVID-19 public health and economic crisis has exacerbated these systemic injustices and demonstrated how the interconnected challenges of our food system are a matter of racial justice, economic justice and health justice. As chairman of this subcommittee, I look forward to working alongside my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to confront these challenges, develop comprehensive solutions to fix our food system and ensure that all people -- from rural communities to cities like the one I call home -- have equitable access to nutritious, healthy foods.”
Booker was appointed to the Senate Agriculture Committee in January 2021.
As Mayor of Newark, Booker witnessed first-hand how our broken food system harmed local residents, as large sections of Newark were essentially “food deserts,” where communities had no access to healthy foods. He was instrumental in bringing several supermarkets to the area that helped increase access for Newarkers to healthy foods. He also spearheaded the creation of community gardens and urban farms.
In the Senate, Booker has introduced the Climate Stewardship Act which would double funding for formula and competitive agricultural research, with new funding dedicated to research focused on reducing emissions and increasing resilience in the agriculture sector, increasing soil health and sequestering more carbon. Booker also introduced the Food and Nutrition Education in Schools Act with Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) to allocate federal funding for projects that educate students while connecting them to healthy food practices, with a priority given to schools in neighborhoods with high rates of childhood diet-related illnesses and those in which 40 percent of students qualify for free or reduced-priced meals.
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