WASHINGTON — A bill introduced by Alaska Rep. Mary Peltola that addresses veteran food insecurity has passed the U.S. House of Representatives.
The Food Security for All Veterans Act is the first bill Peltola, a Democrat, introduced since joining Congress earlier this month. The bill would create an office in the Department of Veterans Affairs to address food insecurity. The legislation passed the House in a 376-49 vote.
The new office would provide veterans with information about federal food assistance programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps. According to a 2021 study from the Department of Agriculture, working-age veterans are at a 7.4% greater risk of food insecurity than nonveterans.
Peltola advocated for the bill in a speech on the House floor Wednesday evening. She said Alaska’s high veteran population motivated her to pursue the measure.
“This is my first bill as a member of the U.S. House, which is appropriate,” Peltola said in her speech. “There is nothing more important than ensuring our veterans and their families can enjoy a safe and healthy life after their service to our country.”
Peltola said pushing for the bill was one of her top priorities during her first weeks in office alongside advocating for a North Slope oil project, ConocoPhillips’ Willow project, and working to advance fishery protections.
The bill has moved through the legislative process rapidly. Peltola introduced the bill Sept. 19 and it passed out of the House Veterans Affairs committee days later.
The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.