As the U.S. House of Representatives continues to debate H.R. 1947, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act (FARRM), Alaskan Congressman Don Young successfully offered an amendment to the bill that would remove barriers that currently prohibit American Indians and Alaska Natives from serving traditional foods in hospitals, elder care facilities and schools.
"Many Alaskans incorporate traditional foods like salmon, wild berries and hunted game into their daily diets, and that shouldn't stop when they enter elder care facilities and hospitals," Rep. Young said. "Due to regulatory uncertainty within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), facilities that primarily serve American Indians and Alaska Natives are currently unable to incorporate these traditional foods into their menus. The cultural significance of these traditional foods cannot be understated, especially for so many Alaska Native elders that spend significant time away from family and friends while receiving medical care."
"I wish to thank Senators Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich for their leadership during the development of this amendment, and I also wish to thank my good friend, Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) for co-sponsoring this amendment which will fix yet another unnecessary regulatory burden crafted by Washington, D.C. bureaucrats."
The amendment would authorize the U.S. Department of Agriculture to allow for the donation and serving of traditional foods, which meet specific safety standards, in public facilities that primarily serve American Indians and Alaska Natives.
Final passage of H.R. 1947 out of the U.S. House of Representatives is expected later this today.