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Congressmen Lawler and Ryan Advocate for Enhanced Kosher Food Options in Federal Assistance Program

Congressmen Mike Lawler and Pat Ryan have formally requested that Cindy Long, the Administrator of the Food and Nutrition Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), enhance the availability of kosher-certified products within the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP).

In their letter dated April 22, 2024, Congressmen Lawler and Ryan pointed out the significant gaps in TEFAP’s offerings, particularly the limited kosher protein options, which currently include only peanut butter and canned pink salmon. This selection does not meet the varied protein recommendations outlined in the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines, which suggest incorporating “a variety of protein foods in nutrient-dense forms.”

The congressmen’s letter calls for a dual approach to improve the program: increasing the number of kosher-certified items and improving the labeling of inherently kosher products. This initiative, they argue, is crucial for making the program fair and equitable across all communities, ensuring that those who observe kosher dietary rules have access to appropriate and nutritious food options.

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