Congressman G. K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) today introduced the Eva Clayton Fellows Program Act of 2011 to create a fellowship program that would use the expertise of faculty and students from land-grant institutions and minority serving institutions in developing approaches to provide relief to global hunger. Butterfield's bill seeks to continue the work of former Congresswoman Eva Clayton who spent much of her career eradicating hunger in rural communities in eastern North Carolina, and improving access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the Women, Infants, and Children program.
"My predecessor, former Congresswoman Eva Clayton, was a strong, clear voice on behalf of the hungry," Butterfield said. "Among states, North Carolina ranks as the sixth worst for food security, with my congressional district as the second most food insecure in the nation. This bill would enable thought leaders in agriculture and economics in developing sustainable approaches to address food shortages."
Specifically, the bill would partner the fellows with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Peace Corps, and the United Nations to travel internationally to study and develop solutions to global hunger.
As the first African-American woman elected to Congress from North Carolina, former Congresswoman Clayton used her position on the Committee on Agriculture to fight hunger across the nation and worldwide. After retiring from Congress in 2003, Mrs. Clayton served as Assistant Director-General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization where she focused on reducing hunger and poverty by increasing agricultural production and establishing alliances and partnerships in more than forty countries.
Butterfield said that this bill is particularly timely with the approaching holiday season, which reminds us of the many people who will go hungry.
Next week, the Congressman will visit the Food Bank of the Albemarle and the Wilson Opportunities Industrialization Center as both prepare for its annual Thanksgiving food distribution.