Today is National Call-In Day!
Action Alert: Have you told your Members of Congress that you support ending hunger?
Every day, hundreds of thousands of struggling households in our community are able to put food on the table with their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. This program is the first line of defense against hunger in Central and Eastern Kentucky and the United States. God's Pantry Food Bank is responding to record levels of need in our community, but we would have to increase our operations by 50 percent to cover the gap that proposed cuts to SNAP funding would create locally. This simply isn’t possible.
Right now, there are proposals in Washington to cut as much as $40 billion from SNAP in the Farm Bill. That’s why food banks and anti-hunger organizations across the country are urging their constituents to call their Representatives TODAY and let them know how you feel about cuts to critical anti-hunger programs.
As a supporter of God's Pantry Food Bank and an advocate for hunger action, will you help us? It will only take a couple minutes of your time:
- Call the toll-free hotline at 866-456-8829.
- Listen to the pre-recorded message and enter your ZIP code when prompted. Once you are connected to your Representative’s office, state that you are a constituent and give your name and the town you are calling from.
- Let them know you are calling about the Farm Bill and deliver this important message:
“My name is __________ and I’m from (City). As your constituent, I ask you to please remember the over 310,000 people who are struggling with hunger in Kentucky. I strongly oppose any cuts to anti-hunger programs like SNAP in the budget and Farm Bill.”
We need your voice to make sure these vital programs stay strong when our community needs them most. ONce you've called, please click here and tell Feeding America and our Food Bank that you have called!
Learn more about the food and nutrition safety net
SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, is the cornerstone of the nutrition safety net, providing nearly 46 million low-income participants with monthly benefits via a grocery debit card. SNAP has proven to be one of the most responsive, efficient federal safety net programs. The program expands quickly to meet rising need, as demonstrated in the recent recession, and provides an efficient benefit transfer that results in $9 in local economic activity for each additional $5 in benefits expended. The majority of SNAP households contain either a child, older adult, or person with disabilities.
TEFAP – commonly referred to as USDA commodities – is a federal government program that gives food to food banks like the Food Depository. The food banks then distribute this food to soup kitchens, pantries and emergency shelters in the community. This safety net program is designed to help supplement the diets of low-income Americans, including senior citizens, in need of short-term hunger relief by providing them with emergency food and nutrition assistance at no cost.
CSFP is a critical commodity program that leverages government buying power to provide nutritious food packages to approximately 604,000 low-income people per year. Nearly 97% of participants in the program are older adults with incomes of less than 130% of the Federal Poverty Line. The food package is designed to combat the health consequences of hunger for older adults by providing needed nutrients.
WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children) is a preventive program that provides low-income pregnant women, new mothers, infants and children with nutritious foods, nutrition education, and improved access to health care.
STATEMENT ATTRIBUTABLE TO BOB AIKEN, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF FEEDING AMERICA
September 16, 2013
“The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote this week on a proposed $40 billion cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program).
“Under the proposed legislation, four to six million individuals would lose their SNAP benefits entirely, 850,000 households would lose an average $90 per month in SNAP benefits, and 210,000 children would lose free school meals.
“The proposed farm bill cuts to the SNAP program combined with the scheduled American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) cuts to SNAP—scheduled to go into effect on Nov. 1, 2013—together would result in the loss of about 3.4 billion meals provided to low-income Americans in 2014. This exceeds the total number of meals Feeding America’s national network of food banks is projected to distribute next year (see chart).
“Charity absolutely cannot make up for this cut to federal food assistance. If enacted, these cuts by Congress would seriously jeopardize the ability of millions of Americans to afford three square meals a day.
“About 76 percent of households currently receiving SNAP benefits include a senior citizen, a child, or someone who is disabled. Lack of adequate nutrition can have devastating health consequences, particularly for vulnerable populations like these. Malnutrition stunts the growth and development of children, and puts seniors at risk of developing serious health problems.
“This proposed cut of $40 billion dollars over ten years will result in the loss of more than 15 billion lost meals, according to Feeding America estimates. If divided evenly across Feeding America’s national network of 202 food banks, every food bank would have to provide an additional 7.5 million meals each year for the next ten years.
“Food banks are already struggling to keep up, and we simply cannot make up for billions of lost SNAP meals. These cuts will only serve to increase hunger and its associated impact on health care costs, workforce productivity and the ability of children to learn in school.
“While we understand that our nation’s leaders are attempting to balance the budget and to be fiscally responsible, making cuts to a program that accounts for less than two percent of the federal budget and helps the poorest and most vulnerable of our neighbors put food on the table is short-sighted. It would significantly affect struggling families and charities. We urge Congress to maintain Washington’s long-standing, bipartisan commitment to protecting programs like SNAP and reject these cuts to SNAP.”
About Feeding America
Feeding America is a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. Together, we provide food to more than 37 million people through 61,000 food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters in communities across America. Feeding America also supports programs that improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a role in ending hunger. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. Educate. Together we can solve hunger. Visit http://www.feedingamerica.org/. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FeedingAmerica or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/FeedingAmerica.