Not that it should come as any surprise, but celebrity chef and restaurateur Tom Colicchio is passionate about feeding people.
But it’s not just the patrons at his restaurants that he’s concerned about. Colicchio, who also serves as a judge on Bravo’s “Top Chef,” tells Fox News he’s wary of any cuts Congress might make to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, especially since some veterans and military families rely on it.
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In response, he and his wife Lori have created a new campaign called "A Place at the Table," which is aimed at bringing awareness to the plight facing our veterans — as well as hungry families across the country.
“Currently, we have about 41 million Americans that rely on SNAP, our food stamps, to help make ends meet and feed their families,” said Colicchio.
“And with Veteran’s Day coming up, we’re looking at hunger in the veterans’ community, and also active-member military families, as well. There’s about 1.5 million veterans that rely on SNAP to feed their families, and we just thought that was one of those things that most people just don’t know about,” he added.
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Colicchio added that he fears the current administration’s recently proposed budget cuts, which called for $193 billion reduction to the food stamp program, could have scary repercussions for those veterans, and others, who need assistance.
“Watching veterans return home from our current wars, it was great to see that they were treated with more respect,” said Colicchio. “And so my feeling is that, if we’re going to support these veterans — and I think President Trump made this a cornerstone of his campaign — that they need to be treated better. So if that’s the case, let’s really tease that out, and let’s see where we’re falling short of taking care of them.”
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For anyone confused as to how they can help, Colicchio says a phone call to your local lawmakers “is the best thing to do.” He also advises that interested citizens visit FoodIsFuel.org, which not only provides information on his campaign, but also which member of the local government to call.
“If you put in your address and zip code, it’ll actually bring you right to your member of congress … You can talk directly to them, and let them know how you feel around these issues of hunger and nutrition.”