Is there an Indiana Jones in Congress? (Yes - one is actually from Indiana.)

August 18, 2015
Photo courtesy of Angela Rupchock-Shafer

By Angela Rupchock-Schafer

It’d be hard to find someone who thinks Congress is doing much of anything right these days. Congress’ approval ratings are lower than my boys’ enthusiasm about summer coming to a close. Yet, among that dearth of confidence in our elected officials, there stand heroes who should be celebrated - heroes like my U.S. representative, Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.-02), who champions a bipartisan approach to ending hunger.

The Global Food Security Act (H.R. 1567/S. 1252) wasn’t mentioned in the recent Republican primary presidential debate. That’s a shame. This bill takes a coordinated, strategic, and accountable approach to achieving greater food security in developing countries. It helps farmers increase their production and focuses on nutrition for pregnant and nursing moms and young children. By empowering female farmers around the globe, women could grow 20 to 30 percent more food and feed 100 to 150 million more people.

I’m extremely proud to say that my congresswoman, Jackie Walorski, recently cosponsored the Global Food Security Act. As a representative from northern Indiana, Walorski understands how important agriculture is to the economy and health of communities. After all, our district swims in corn and soybean fields. Her cosponsorship of this bill speaks volumes on its potential to fight hunger in a more sustainable and substantial way.

Bipartisan cooperation is strong between Walorski and U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.-02). Both have reached across the aisle to work together in their positions as chairwoman (Walorski) and ranking member (McGovern) on the Nutrition Subcommittee on Agriculture, which has jurisdiction over SNAP (formerly food stamps) funding and other hunger and nutrition-related policies. More than 49 million Americans live in households that struggle to put food on the table. They live with hunger every day. In a hyperpartisan environment, we have a Republican and a Democrat getting down to business and focusing on how to find solutions. Imagine that.

It is my hope that you take a moment and thank your representative if she/he is already a cosponsor of the Global Food Security Act (find Senate cosponsors here). And if they aren’t, urge them to support this important bill. In addition, urge your member of Congress to support SNAP funding and feeding programs for students on summer break.

Our voices give our elected officials the confidence and support they need to vote their conscience. It shouldn’t be hard in Congress to cooperate across parties and do the right thing. Your call or email today can help make sure it isn’t.  

As I write this blog post, the Indiana Jones movie theme song is blaring in the background. That’s just how my family rolls. But you know, I don’t think it’s a stretch to call cosponsors of the Global Food Security Act and champions for SNAP and child nutrition in Congress true heroes. Their heroism may not be as flashy – they don’t wear fedoras to work, after all – but their work is saving and changing the lives of some of our most vulnerable brothers and sisters. Dr. Jones would be proud.

Angela Rupchock-Schafer is a Bread for the World activist and board member, CWS assistant director of communications, proud CROP Hunger Walker, and parent volunteer at the Washington Discovery Academy student garden.

Photo: Angela Rupchock-Schafer, left, met with her U.S. representative, Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.-02), in Washington, D.C.,  during Bread for the World’s Lobby Day in June. Photo courtesy of Angela Rupchock-Shafer.

Help Women Farmers. Infographic by Doug Puller / Bread for the World
Our voices give our elected officials the confidence and support they need to vote their conscience.

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