Utahns Against Hunger ‘deeply disappointed,’ calling on House to vote on food security task force bill

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – An anti-hunger non-profit organization says it is “deeply disappointed” that the Utah House stalled a bill to create a task force on food security.

Senate Bill 141, which passed in the Senate 22-6-1 on Monday, aims at creating the Task Force on Food Security to develop a plan for establishing food security in Utah.

The bill was introduced in the House on Monday, but has not made any other progress.

Utahns Against Hungers says they “are deeply disappointed that the House isn’t interested in addressing the issue of food security through data-driven solutions.”

“In a year, food insecurity rates have more than doubled in Utah. According to a study conducted by Northwestern University food insecurity has climbed from 8.2 percent in February 2020 to 19.3 percent (1 in 5 households) in December 2020—that number is even higher for BIPOC households. The lack of action in the House in the face of such a major crisis is failure of leadership,” a Friday release reads.

The non-profit says the task force is intended to research the barriers and issues around food access in Utah and to provide recommendations to policymakers from legislators, municipalities, counties, the agricultural and business sector, the Department of Health, the Department of Workforce Services, community advocates and pantries.

“These families need our help now. We can’t wait another year to get started on this work. We urge the House to lift SB141 out of Rules, and put it up for a vote,” the Utahns Against Hunger says.

The 2021 Legislative Session ends on Friday, March 5.

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