Senator to USDA: Make Food Aid Kosher

Feb. 5, 2021
A U.S. Senator is asking the USDA to ensure that food boxes provided to needy families during the pandemic contains options for kosher and halal foods.

A U.S. Senator is asking the USDA to ensure that food boxes provided to needy families during the pandemic contains options for kosher and halal foods.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) sent the USDA a letter dated Feb. 3 in which she pointed out that there are half a million people in New York City living in poor or near-poor Jewish families.

“During the beginning rounds of this program, when there were separate boxes for each food category, it was more accessible for kosher and halal families to use this program,” Gillebrand’s letter states. “However, in late summer the boxes were designed to be exclusively mixed packages, eliminating them as an option for these families.”

Gillibrand has long been an advocate for inclusion of kosher and halal products in food aid. She had previously sent a similar letter to then-USDA secretary Sonny Perdue, and had advocated for the USDA to label kosher and halal products in school lunch programs.

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