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Readout of CHC Meeting with Secretary Tom Vilsack

Mar 3, 2016
Press Release

Washington, D.C. –  Today, Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) Members met with Secretary Tom Vilsack of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).  The meeting was held on Capitol Hill at the request of the Caucus.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture has enormous implications for the Latino community, including its administration of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), as well as the National School Lunch Program. For example, children of color are the largest demographic served by the National School Lunch Program, with 77% of Latino students eligible to participate in the free/reduced price lunch program.

Caucus Members raised several concerns during the meeting including, the Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers claims, child nutrition programs, community economic development initiatives, USDA’s partnership with Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and access to federal lands for Hispanic farmers and ranchers.  The Caucus has a history of working on these issues on behalf of the Latino community. On the issue of the Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers claims, the CHC has been advocating for appropriate redress.

Secretary Vilsack stated his commitment to ensuring equity and fairness in programs at USDA.  The Secretary said the Department would work with offices to communicate information regarding their stated concerns.