GFA 2018 John Dingell Outstanding Public Official Award

Outstanding Public Official - Debbie Stabenow


Senator Debbie Stabenow is our Senior Senator and a prominent national leader who is recognized for her ability to reach across the aisle to get things done for our state.

Senator Stabenow has led efforts to address child hunger and child health throughout her career. As a senior member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, she fought for passage of the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act in 2010. This new law updated school meal standards and established the Community Eligibility Provision, which Michigan piloted, to give schools with high percentages of low-income children the opportunity to provide free breakfast and lunch to all students.

As Chair of the Agriculture Committee, she wrote the current Farm Bill, which expanded opportunities for local, healthy food efforts like farmers markets and community gardens. The Farm Bill continued to emphasize the importance of nutrition education and established new programs to enhance the availability of healthy foods in “food deserts” and to make healthy eating more affordable for low-income families.

After completing the Farm Bill, Senator Stabenow led a series of Agriculture Committee hearings with retired U.S. military leaders, pediatricians, school leaders and parents to call attention to the threat that childhood obesity poses to our national security.

A long-time champion for School-Based Health Centers throughout her career, she is the author of the Hallways to Health Act to increase children’s access to physical and behavioral health care during the school day. And her bipartisan legislation to extend funding for community health centers and for the Children’s Health Insurance Program was recently signed into law.

Senator Stabenow is Ranking Member of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, Co-Chair of the bipartisan Great Lakes Task Force, and a senior member of the Finance Committee, the Energy Committee and the Budget Committee.