The kosher/halal amendment will require the USDA to create a plan to increase the purchase of kosher food for use in food banks nationwide, and to track and label kosher food so that food pantries like ours can identify the food they can buy from food banks.
“We must take steps to help the neediest observant families and children get access to nutritious food during these difficult times,” U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said in a statement.
“Met Council thanks Senator Gillibrand and Congressman Crowley, who while tirelessly fighting against the Farm Bill’s unconscionable cuts to SNAP, also recognized that, far too often, many food insecure New Yorkers are forced to make the impossible choice between feeding their family and observing their religion. Through their advocacy and leadership on the Kosher/Halal amendment, Senator Gillibrand and Congressman Crowley made great strides toward eliminating that inconceivable hardship for millions of Americans. The amendment will ensure that, at no additional cost to the taxpayer, the maximum amount of food procured from manufacturers meets the needs of Jewish and Muslim New Yorkers who are food insecure,” said David M. Frankel, CEO and Executive Director of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty. “More than one-half million Jewish New Yorkers struggle with food insecurity each and every day. To address this growing crisis, Met Council has developed the nation’s largest kosher food pantry, each month providing food packages for 15,000 households — regardless of their religious affiliation.”