Letter of Support from WCVI President Antonio Gonzalez to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus for the NOURISH Act of 2007
I am writing to ask for your support of the “Nutrition and Opportunities for the Underserved and Rural Incentives to Secure the Heartland Act of 2007”, or the NOURISH Act of 2007.
I understand that Chairman Joe Baca will be asking for the endorsement of the bill by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. The NOURISH Act is a truly unique and long-overdue Farm Bill marker to address the needs of Latinos and other traditionally underserved populations within Agriculture.
Latino and other socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers are the fastest growing sector of agricultural owners and operators in the nation. Most of them do not benefit from the commodity program payments, which consume half of all farm spending. Commodity subsidies also distort trade and displace farmers and ranchers in developing countries in Africa and Latin America .
As a growing sector within agriculture, socially disadvantaged farmers need new programs to help them catch up with other farmers who have had access to more benefits and services, as well as policy and programs that will hold USDA accountable for providing equitable access to programs.
Latino farm workers also need relief from unfair wages and unsafe and unhealthy working conditions, including exposure to inappropriately used pesticides.
Federal agriculture programs and policies have an impact on the health and nutrition of minorities. The poor and minorities face food insecurity each year, compromising their health and well-being. Therefore, providing access to affordable, nutritious foods and assistance must be a high priority in the 2007 Farm Bill debate.
The NOURISH Act would help address these serious problems facing Latino farmers, ranchers and farmworkers. It also provides significant resources and policy reforms for nutrition programs would greatly enhance the health and nutrition of our poor and underserved communities.
For these reasons, I respectfully urge your support of the NOURISH Act. Please let me know if you have any questions or require additional information.
William C. Velasquez Institute
About the William C. Velasquez Institute
Chartered in 1985, The William C. Velásquez Institute (WCVI) is a non-profit, non-partisan Latino-oriented research and policy think tank with ottices in San Antonio , Texas and Los Angeles , California . For more information regarding WCVI, please visit our website at www.wcvi.org