Rising Hollywood star Shailene Woodley joined lawmakers and digital retailers on Capitol Hill at a congressional briefing Tuesday in an effort to persuade the Obama administration to enact changes that would allow people to use food stamps online. The 24-year-old Snowden star said the issue is one that affects her own family and friends. “The issue stems beyond food. It is about social justice, equality amongst all,” Woodley wrote in an Instagram post. “Healthy food should NOT be a privilege. Healthy food is a RIGHT. And it’s our job to hold our government accountable to offer access to healthy food in ALL communities.”
After the briefing, Woodley spoke to members of the press in front of Capitol Hill and said that “healthy food is the right of all sentient beings, and not the sole right of Americans.” Asked to elaborate, the actress argued that the food stamp programs is “a generous way of helping those who are less fortunate survive,” but also added that “helping some people survive while leaving others to starve to death is the same as not giving anyone food at all.” “I really think we need to start thinking outside the box when it comes to working out a final solution for this burning problem,” she said.
Woodley then explained her move that could potentially turn around the way people see food stamps today. “I think we need to make food stamps available online for a number of reasons, two of the most urgent ones being people who aren’t Americans and their families. By allowing immigrants to also use food stamps, we will effectively feed many more mouths and thus achieve a new level of equality when it comes to helping those who need it the most. And that is a problem we’ve been faced with practically since the entire food stamp program was conceived,” she argued.
“On the other hand,” the actress continued, “I also believe another reason why food stamps need to be used online is the fact that we have a moral obligation to help as many people as we can, and that also includes the families of immigrants who are currently located in the United States. For example, I know that a lot of illegal immigrants are here because they’re after a better life for themselves, but also for their families, most of whom are still back in Mexico. And if people here are starving to death, chances are the same thing is happening to their loved ones back home. And that is something we cannot tolerate.”
“With online food stamps, those people will be able to send their loved ones food stamps issued here, on U.S. territory, and will be able to save their families from starvation. And I’m stating Mexico as an example of what could be done. In time, we would expand the entire program to hopefully global proportions. Not only do we possess the capability to feed the world, but we also have a responsibility to do so, not just because we’re kind as a nation, but because that will also increase demand for food, which will ultimately lead to a boost in our economy. That way, we won’t just be giving away our kindness for free, we’ll also be cashing it in. And all that because we want to feed the poor. How awesome is this country?” she concluded.