Because hunger is no laughing matter, HOH is sharing this today: Making ends meet is undeniably challenging during these lean economic times. Rep. Frank Wolf is particularly perturbed by one stomach-turning indicator: bare shelves at local food pantries.
The Virginia Republican will take another stab at helping to reverse the trend when he addresses the Capital Area Food Bank’s Northern Virginia Hunger Summit later today.
Though he stays in touch with food banks across his district (connecting with them about every month, he estimates) and is plenty proud of the Feds Feed Families initiative — a government-wide program that collected 5.8 million pounds in nonperishable food items this year and that he helped establish — Wolf hungers to do more.
First up: prodding satellite government offices. He specifically called out the Winchester, Va., offices of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the FBI to funnel their food collections to neighboring food banks (all Feds Feed Families donations default to the D.C.-based Capital Area Food Bank). Next, he’ll ask Northern Virginia schools to launch rolling food drives after the holidays (giving typically dries up post-seasonal glut).
His most ambitious goal, however, is to lean on area businesses. Not some. Not half. ALL of them — to, ahem, help strengthen the social safety net.
“Every company in the Washington, D.C., area ought to do a food drive. And every company would do a food drive. They just haven’t been asked,” he says. “Nobody wants to see folks go hungry.”
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.