Yesterday, I attended a press conference for the Food Bank of South Jersey. Congressman Rob Andrews, my local representative, spoke for a few minutes. He positioned himself as a huge supporter of the food bank and its needs, and he also spoke a little bit about the Farm Bill that has yet to be passed. He said that he’s working to make sure the bill covers not just farmers, but also the food insecure, school meal programs and food stamp recipients.
So it seems like Rep. Andrews is a politician who cares about the same things I care about when it comes to food policy. Today, I discovered an easy way to find out if that’s really the case. Food Policy Action, a new organization formed by Chef Tom Colicchio, founder of Gramercy Tavern, Ken Cook of Environmental Working Group, and other healthy food advocates, animal welfare and anti-hunger champions.
Food Policy Action has created a scorecard for politicians that scores representatives like Rob Andrews (he scored an impressive 94 percent, by the way) on how they vote on food policy.
The Scorecard is based on votes taken during the 112th Congress that had a bearing on such issues as food safety, hunger, farm subsidies, food labeling, organic food and local food systems. In the future, animal welfare and food industry consolidation will be added to the food issues that factor in the scoring.
With the elections coming up in a couple of weeks, this scorecard could be beneficial in helping those of us who are concerned about food policy decide who should get our votes. I would encourage you to head over to the website and take a look at how your representatives score before you head out to vote on November 6.
If you want to know in depth who is involved in Food Policy Action and what they hope to accomplish, you can watch Food Policy Action’s introductory press conference from earlier this week.
Another great feature of the Food Policy Action website is the Pending Food Policies page. You can see what bills are coming up for a vote so that you educate yourself on them and contact your representatives to let them know how you’d like them to vote.