Speaking at the annual National Action Network’s (NAN) New Jersey U.S. Senator Cory Booker delivered a speech focused on America’s broken food systems and agriculture industry that favors consolidated multinational corporations and hurts communities of color. As family farmers struggle and tens of millions of families face food insecurity and a lack of access to affordable, nutritious food, massive agriculture conglomerates get bigger and richer.
“The American food system is broken, and it is killing us,” said Booker. “The American food system is working against nearly everyone it touches – it is hurting urban communities and rural communities; farmers and farm workers. And it is deeply dangerous to our most vulnerable communities. The only winners in this system are the massive, consolidated multinational corporations that dominate our food industry and too often dictate food policy.”
The COVID-19 public health and economic crisis has exacerbated these systemic injustices and demonstrated how the interconnected challenges of our food system are a matter of racial justice, economic justice, and health justice.
Earlier this week, Senator Booker reintroduced the Climate Stewardship Act, a climate change bill focused on voluntary farm and ranch conservation practices, massive reforestation, and wetlands restoration. Last year, Booker introduced the Food and Nutrition Education in Schools Act to allocate federal funding for projects that educate students while connecting them to healthy food practices, with a priority given to schools in neighborhoods with high rates of childhood diet-related illnesses and those in which 40 percent of students qualify for free or reduced-priced meals.
During his speech, Booker said the expanded child tax credit and the earned income tax creditsigned into law by President Joe Biden, will lift nearly 10 million kids out of poverty and put money in the pockets of 17 million workers across the country. The credits will also cut the child poverty rate for all children by nearly 50% and Black children by about over 50%.
“In addition to a hunger crisis, we face a second great crisis, one of nutrition insecurity, where too many Americans are overfed, but undernourished, and we continue to pour massive federal subsidies into a system that is literally making us sick,” Booker said.