The Washington Post

Top Chef star urges Congress to support anti-hunger programs

The star of cable TV’s “Top Chef” visited Capitol Hill on Wednesday to promote federal anti-hunger programs in advance of Congress beginning work on a new farm bill.

Celebrity chef Tom Colicchio joined with Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) to headline a screening of the documentary “A Place at the Table” at the Rayburn House Office Building and met with members of Congress to encourage funding to fight hunger, according to a press release from promoters.

Screen shot 2013-05-09 at 1.03.50 AM (Courtesy Magnolia Pictures)

report last year from the U.S. Department of Agriculture said nearly 15 percent of Americans were “food insecure” in 2011, meaning they did not always have money for nutrition. “A Place at the Table,” which features Academy Award-winning actor Jeff Bridges and Colicchio, examines that and other issues relating to hunger in the U.S.

The farm bill sets policy for agricultural subsidies and rural-development programs. It also includes funding for anti-poverty programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which provides food credits for low- and no-income Americans — the program was previously known as the food stamp program.

Congress’s agriculture committees plan to begin work next week on a new farm bill that would trim funding for SNAP. The Senate plans to propose a reduction of $400 million, while the House committee will call for an overhaul of the program and a cut of $2 billion, according to an Associated Press report.

Federal costs for the food-credit program reached $72 billion in 2011, more than double the amount for 2007, according to an analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. Critics note that the growth largely occurred after President Obama expanded the program through an economic-stimulus bill in 2009.

The Senate agriculture committee will begin its markup proceedings with a meeting next Tuesday. A similar session was not listed on the Web site for the counterpart House committee.


For more federal news, visit The Federal Eye, The Fed Page and Post Politics. To connect with Josh Hicks, follow his Twitter feed, subscribe to his Facebook page or e-mail josh.hicks@washpost.comE-mail with news tips and other suggestions.

Josh Hicks covers Maryland politics and government. He previously anchored the Post’s Federal Eye blog, focusing on federal accountability and workforce issues.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Get Zika news by email

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Show Comments
New Hampshire has voted. The Democrats debate on Thursday. Get caught up on the race.
The Post's Philip Rucker and Robert Costa say...
For Trump, the victory here was sweet vindication, showing that his atypical campaign could prevail largely on the power of celebrity and saturation media coverage. But there was also potential for concern in Tuesday's outcome. Trump faces doubts about his discipline as a candidate and whether he can build his support beyond the levels he has shown in the polls.
The Post's John Wagner and Anne Gearan say...
Hillary Clinton, who was declared the winner of the Iowa caucuses last week by the narrowest of margins, now finds herself struggling to right her once-formidable campaign against a self-described democratic socialist whom she has accused of selling pipe dreams to his supporters.
People have every right to be angry. But they're also hungry for solutions.
Hillary Clinton, in her New Hampshire primary night speech
I am going to be the greatest jobs president that God ever created.
Donald Trump, in his New Hampshire primary victory speech
Upcoming debates
Feb. 11: Democratic debate

on PBS, in Wisconsin

Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

Campaign 2016
See results from N.H.

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.