Food security bill gets buzz on capitol hill during the second day of the legislative session

Jan 19, 2023, 7:00 AM

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The Utah State Capitol is pictured on February 7, 2022 in Salt Lake City. (KSL NewsRadio)

(KSL NewsRadio)

SALT LAKE CITY — One bill has caught the attention of Utahns as the second day of the legislative session comes to an end. The bill involves creating a food security council. Sen. Luz Escamilla (D-Salt Lake City), sponsoring the bill, spoke to KSL NewsRadio about the details. 

Escamilla said the pandemic highlighted the need for food security in the state. 

“So, the goal is that this council will provide recommendations at a policy level of what do we need to do to make sure more of our families and especially children or vulnerable populations, or beings are in a safe space that they have access to food,” said Escamilla. 

She said the council has a low sum of money to support the effort. Therefore, Utah State University is covering a lot of the cost, which was passed last legislative session. 

Escamilla highlights the fact that many children get free meals at school, but what happens when they go home? 

“We know many kids are even taking food for their siblings,” she said. 

Escamilla also raises the question if our state’s elderly are taken care of. 

“Are we protecting them and making sure they have meals,” she asks. 

Furthermore, she said that having more of a systemic solution will be a higher return on investment in the end. 

She suggests perhaps leveraging with farm bureaus to give discounts to larger families. 

“I mean, we want to support our local growers. I want them to be the ones feeding our families,” Escamilla told KSL NewsRadio. 

She said it all comes down to accessibility for those in need and this bill helps create that. 

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Food security bill gets buzz on capitol hill during the second day of the legislative session