SALEM, Va. (WFXR) – Feeding Southwest Virginia CEO and President Pamela Irvine says she’s optimistic about expansions to SNAP and emphasis on nutrition in President Biden’s proposals Wednesday. Still, she’s skeptical about executing the White House’s goal.
The plan to end food insecurity in the United States by 2030 was laid out at the first hunger conference since 1969, and Biden’s proposals need to pass through Congress.
“If it all happens it’s gonna be great but I’m going to have to wait and see on that,” she said.
After decades of fighting food insecurity, Irvine says inaccess, particularly for rural communities, is a hard thing to overcome.
“I’m pretty challenged, after 41 years working at Feeding Southwest Virginia and trying to logistically figure out how to reach all the food insecure individuals that, that can happen,” she said.
Irvine says in order to solve hunger by the end of the decade as Biden plans, there needs to be what she calls neighbor-centered programs. That means federal benefits, fixing transportation and housing insecurity, and ultimately helping people become permanently food secure by their own means.
“Food security is only going to happen if people are able to feed their families, if there’s economic development, if there’s good paying jobs, benefits,” she explained.
However, she and Marketing and Communications Director Wes Childress are optimistic about the focus on nutrition in Biden’s plan.
“We’re not just feeding people, but we’re giving them the nutrients they need as the medicine they deserve,” said Childress.