Bree Orchard: McGovern’s leadership on health needs

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Published: 11/16/2021 8:28:33 PM

As a registered dietitian I want to thank U.S. Representative Jim McGovern for leading legislative efforts to convene a national White House Conference on food, nutrition, hunger, and health. As one of his constituents, I have followed his leadership since I moved to Massachusetts in 2019. His passion for fighting food insecurity and health disparities has endeared him to members of the dietetics profession and others who are concerned about access to safe and nutritious food and to adequate and equitable healthcare services.

During graduate school, I was a teaching assistant for a community nutrition course, where I led the SNAP challenge. This provided an opportunity to see just how difficult it is to live on SNAP benefits alone. Research has shown that these benefits are too low to fully meet our nutritional needs, so Rep. McGovern’s call to increase these benefits is something I admire greatly.

According to “Feeding America,” Massachusetts saw a 59% increase in food insecurity between 2020 and 2021: the highest percentage increase in the country. The pandemic exposed weak links in the supply-chain of emergency food available and, moving forward, our state needs voices like that of Representative McGovern to increase awareness of hunger existing right in our midst.

The first and only White House Conference on Food, Nutrition and Health was in 1969. Now is a perfect time to convene an updated event and address the nutritional health needs of all Americans.

U.S. Rep.Jim McGovern of the 2nd District will make it happen.

Bree Orchard


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