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July 19, 2022

Pressley Submits Community Testimony from Food Insecurity Convening to White House for Upcoming Hunger Summit

Pressley, Project Bread, Advocates Held Historic Convening on
Food Insecurity Last Week

Letter to White House | Convening Video 

BOSTON – Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) transmitted to the White House community testimony from the district convening on food insecurity that she held last week with Project Bread, constituents, local leaders and advocates in East Boston. The convening came at the request of the Biden Administration ahead of its Conference on Hunger later this year and the testimony will inform the nation’s roadmap to address the crisis of food insecurity across the nation.  

“We must continue to provide solutions that are rooted in the reality of those who experience hunger and hardship firsthand, and that means centering the families that suffered food insecurity long before the global pandemic,” Rep. Pressley wrote in a letter to the White House along with the testimony. “It was an honor to host this listening session in my District and it is my hope that our shared constituents’ lived experiences and expertise will aid the White House Task Force in crafting a transformational roadmap to ending hunger once and for all.” 

Last week’s district convening consisted of three panels featuring testimony from community members, providers, advocates, academics, and elected officials, and the testimony was transmitted to the White House on Friday, July 15th 2022 ahead of the conference. Recommendations made by the panelists include: 

  • Providing increased and sustained financial support to our most vulnerable communities, while reducing bureaucratic barriers to access;
  • Emphasizing universalism and equity in policy solutions to address the structural factors that perpetuate hunger;
  • Removing barriers and reducing stigma associated with hunger and assistance program participation;
  • Expanding eligibility regardless of immigration status and focusing on continuity of benefits for families, especially those with young people in the household. 

The Congresswoman’s letter to the White House, along with a transcript and written testimony from the hearing, is available here

Full video of the convening is available here and video of the press conference following the discussion is available here. Photos from the event, two of which are attributable to Cydney Scott of Boston University, are available here.  

Joining Rep. Pressley and Project Bread at the discussion were State Senator Lydia Edwards, Boston City Councilor Ricardo Arroyo, Boston City Councilor Gabriela Coletta, Boston City Councilor At-Large Erin Murphy, La Colaborativa, Greater Boston Food Bank, YMCA of Greater Boston, Metropolitan Area Planning Council, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, Community Action Agency of Somerville, Eastie Farm, Chelsea Public School District, and community members from the Massachusetts 7th Congressional District.  

In October, Rep. Pressley joined Congressman James P. McGovern (MA-02) and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) at a press conference to unveil legislation that would start the process of convening a national White House conference on food, nutrition, hunger, and health.  

Rep. Pressley has also led efforts to extend the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) child nutrition waiver authority, which has allowed millions of children in Massachusetts and across the nation to access free and healthy school meals during the pandemic. She delivered a floor speech renewing her calls for its extension last month and applauded the House’s passage of legislation to do so later that month.