US/World News

NY senator: Agriculture Dept. must provide kosher food to food banks

(JTA) — U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand asked the Department of Agriculture about reports of shortages of halal and kosher food at food banks. “I am deeply concerned by reports of shortages of Kosher and Halal foods available to the many observant individuals and families facing hunger and food insecurity in New York and throughout our country,” Gillibrand, D-N.Y., said in a letter Feb. 29 to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Like many New Yorkers, some Orthodox Jewish families struggle to feed their children and must rely on local food banks and community organizations to provide them with nutritious food.” Vos Is Neiaz, a Jewish news site, quoted a New York kosher soup kitchen director as saying the federal government has failed to provide kosher chickens for 20 weeks.

Gillibrand in 2014 authored language in the Farm Bill that directed the purchase and labeling of kosher and halal foods when it can be bought at equal cost.

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