For Immediate Release:
April 1, 2008
Sen. Andrew Rice
Food Security Act Advances to Senate
Rice hopeful for bill’s future after unanimous committee
A bill aimed at battling food insecurity in Oklahoma moved one
step closer to bringing needed relief to the state’s hunger
crisis with a unanimous, bipartisan vote in the Senate Finance Committee
today, according to Sen. Andrew Rice.
“Today’s vote proves that addressing hunger is not
a partisan issue, it’s a moral obligation,” Rice said.
“Oklahoma is the fifth worst state in the nation for food
security. One in every five Oklahoma children is at risk of going
to bed hungry, and more than half a million Oklahomans must choose
between food or rent, food or utilities, food or medicine.
“The Hunger Task Force found that we have the capacity to
address these issues, but we must remain committed to solving this
problem. I’m pleased that my colleagues on both sides of the
aisle have demonstrated their resolve to address this issue head-on
and find workable solutions to hunger.”
Rice and Rep. Kris Steele, R-Shawnee, established the Hunger Task
Force in 2007 and co-authored the Food Security Act (HB 2833) to
implement several task force recommendations. The act, sponsored
in the Senate by Rice and Sen. James Williamson, R-Tulsa, would
create a standing Oklahoma Food Security Committee and provide tax
relief for those most at risk for hunger, with the goal of reducing
food insecurity to at or below the national average by 2013.
The classification “food insecure” refers to families
and individuals who do not receive enough daily nutrition to meet
minimal medical benchmarks.
Other provisions of the act would enact tax rebates for charities
working to address the hunger crisis and exempt small farmers selling
goods in venues such as farmers’ markets from paying sales
“When our neighbors are at risk for hunger, we are all vulnerable
to its effects,” Rice added. “Hungry children have more
difficulty learning, hungry adults have more trouble working and
providing for their families, and those problems affect the fabric
of our communities.
“All Oklahomans have an interest and an obligation in solving
this crisis. Passing the Food Security Act will be an important
step in the right direction.”
For more information contact:
Senator Rice's Office: (405) 521-5610