CHARLESTON — House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay, has announced the formation of a workgroup dedicated to utilizing every tool at West Virginia’s disposal to help reduce hunger throughout the state.
Delegate Larry Pack, R-Kanawha, and Delegate Chad Lovejoy, D-Cabell, will lead the bipartisan workgroup, which will focus on improving food insecurity, which Feeding America estimates affects one in seven West Virginians as well as one in five West Virginia children.
“We have plenty of evidence that shows us how deeply connected hunger is to other issues, such as overall health, mental health, academic achievement and economic prosperity,” Pack said. “We are committed to putting in the time and energy to truly understand not only what specific roadblocks are out there hurting our West Virginia families, but also what solutions we can implement in the near future.”
Pack and Lovejoy both pushed this year to establish the Summer Feeding for All initiative, and while that did not happen during the regular legislative session, Lovejoy said this new workgroup is a big step forward.
“This is an exciting announcement recognizing that food insecurity is a priority in West Virginia policymaking,” Lovejoy said. “I’m grateful to our Speaker, who has actively participated in the bipartisan House Hunger Caucus since its inception, and now organizes a formal group of committed representatives to tackle this problem head-on.”
Other members of the workgroup are Delegates:
• Brent Boggs, D-Braxton
• Ed Evans, D-McDowell
• Joshua Higginbotham, R-Putnam
• John Paul Hott, R-Grant
• Riley Keaton, R-Roane
• Kayla Kessinger, R-Fayette
• Danielle Walker, D-Monongalia
• Evan Worrell, R-Cabell
• Kayla Young, D-Kanawha
• Lisa Zukoff, D-Marshall