WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Former Vice President Joe Biden said on Tuesday, during a Yahoo News townhall about food security, that the country does not have a food problem, but a “leadership problem” amid the coronavirus pandemic.
- He slammed President Donald Trump for proposing to cut the budget of food stamps for 2021 expenditure.
- Biden also lambasted the administration for not taking bold efforts to deliver farm produce to the American consumers.
“We don’t have a food shortage problem, we have a leadership problem,” Former Vice President Biden said during a Yahoo News townhall on food security issues. He was featured alongside Chef Jose Andres.
The apparent Democratic presidential nominee slammed President Donald Trump, his Republic rival in November’s elections, for proposing allocation cut on food stamps in next year’s budget.
“First of all the president should stop trying to cut the SNAP program, which is essentially the food stamp program. In the middle of this crisis he is, in fact, cutting food stamps. He wants to cut access to food stamps, or SNAP as it’s known as,” Biden said.
Last month, the Trump administration was criticized by Democrats after announcing that it would delay issuing working guidelines for people seeking food stamps.
Andres shared the same sentiment with Biden and said that food is an important part of the country’s national security.
“We need to begin taking food seriously,” he said. “Food needs to be treated as a national security issue. We need a national director of food and nutrition… part of the National Security Council.”
Andres was a Spanish native who lives in the US and currently manages restaurants in several cities. He became an activist for food stamps and nutrition.
The former vice president said that he was not fascinated on the federal government’s stimulus efforts. According to him, the money passed by the Congress was not reaching the right people.
“It’s not getting to those mom and pop stores. It’s not getting to people who need to be able to pay workers to stay on the payroll. It’s not getting to people who need relief and so it’s just not being done very well at all,” Biden said.
Biden blamed the administration for not taking bold efforts in delivering the food from farms to consumers. “We have plenty of food, it’s being plowed under… The president could have ordered the government to buy food from farmers and send it to food banks,” he argued.
Biden further went on and commended food service workers — saying “they are the soul of America” for risking their lives so the people could continue to eat and survive.