Last week, the Jewish Federation of Western Connecticut hosted a discussion between Congresswoman Jahana Hayes and representatives of Jewish Family Services organizations and Jewish Federations from across the State. One of the Congresswoman’s committee assignments is the Agriculture Committee which prepares the very important (and massive) Farm Bill. The Farm Bill provides, among other things, the Federal response to food insecurity. She noted that her experience as a teacher made it very clear to her how important it is for the Federal Government to help ensure that food gets to the tables of those who need it.
Representative Hayes was interested in learning how the Jewish Community and its social service agencies were addressing the growing problem of hunger in Connecticut. The Congresswoman learned of the creative ways the Jewish communityemploys to increase the number of people served by our Kosher food pantries, as well as the creative mechanisms that we utilize to bring food to the people who may not be able to come to food pantries. She also learned about the supplemental role played by ad hoc private ventures to assist those in need.
During the meeting, the Congresswoman confirmed that one of her highest priorities is to make sure that the Congress plays a bigger role in supporting efforts like those of the Jewish community in Connecticut to provide help where it is most needed. Representative Hayes also noted how pleased she has been during her time in Congress to see that the Jewish Community shares so many of her values and priorities.
The Congresswoman was kind enough to take nearly two full hours from her very busy schedule to with talk with our group. The Jewish Federation of Western Connecticut would like to thank her for her time and for her leadership on the very important issue of food security. We are also grateful that representatives of Jewish Family Service organizations from Greenwich, Greater Hartford and Fairfield County, as well as the United Jewish Federation of Stamford, New Canaan and Darien took the time to travel to Southbury to participate in this discussion. Finally, we are thankful to JFACT for organizing the meeting and for the other work it conducts to ensure that Jewish values are represented in Hartford and in Washington.