After three years of fighting to ensure that the Farm Bill protects hunger-relief programs and advances our mission of a hunger-free America-- we have a resolution. Thank you constituents and champions, your voice made a difference. Today, Congress finalized a new Farm Bill, after the Senate’s 68-32 vote to pass H.R.
Representative Greg Morris of Vidalia got a lot of attention a couple of weeks ago promoting a proposed bill that would require Georgians receiving SNAP/food stamps to pass a drug test before receiving help to feed their family.
For three years, we’ve fought to ensure that the Farm Bill protects hunger-relief programs and advances our mission of a hunger-free America.
Your voice made a difference. Your support helped us defeat proposal after proposal to deepen the cuts to hunger relief programs like SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program formerly known as Food Stamps).
Transportation, or rather public support for a viable comprehensive transportation solution indicative of a growing major metropolitan city, has long been a hot button issue in Atlanta. According to a 2011 Brookings Institute Transit Accessibility Profile, Atlanta ranks 91st out of 100 metro areas for access to transit. To oversimplify, Atlantans rely heavily on cars as their primary source of transportation in lieu of robust mass transit options.
Over the next few days, Congress will decide the fate of hunger-relief programs in the Farm Bill, and we need to mobilize thousands of phone calls to make sure they protect hungry families by protecting SNAP/Food Stamps and investing in SNAP.
We need you to add your voice to the thousands who will join this important effort. Now, more than ever, it is important to make a phone call to your Members of Congress and help ensure that struggling Americans still have access to programs that help put food on the table.
On day 2 of this Food Stamp Challenge, it had become apparent to me that when my food choices are limited all you can do is think about food. There was certainly a time when out of necessity, much of the days energy was centered on where the next meal would come from, but most of us now live outside of scarcity in the luxury of choice.
I recently attended a reception and was introduced to a civic leader in the community. When she learned that I was the executive director of the Food Bank, she looked me in the eye and said she doesn’t like to support people who use food stamps because they buy things she views as unhealthy. When asked for examples, she mentioned soft drinks, snack food, beer and cigarettes.
On November 1, 2013, every single person who relies on food stamps (SNAP) to help them feed their families will see a cut in the amount they receive. It has nothing to do with the federal shutdown, nor with the House of Representative’s bill that attempts to cut $40 billion from the program over the next 10 years. This is simply the expiration of a modest 2009 boost in benefits to SNAP recipients, which was included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to strengthen the economy and ease hardship.
It was the best of times and the worst of times…
...as the legendary Tale of Two Cities classic begins. With us at ACFB, a similar framing concept might be “the good news and the bad news” as we – kind of – breathe a sigh of relief that our dysfunctional federal leaders re-funded our federal government, lifted the debt ceiling, and punted yet again for a few months to work on resolving our nation’s polarized impasse on governing.
We're two days into the shutdown and one thing for certain has changed: all the usual websites we at the Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB) typically access from the feds are shut down. But we did do a little research ourselves before the shutdown about how this might impact the Food Bank so I'll share a few highlights.
Yesterday, the US House of Representatives voted to cut the Food Stamp Program (SNAP) by $39 billion, which will result in more than 1.5 billion meals lost in fiscal year 2014 alone. (You can find out how your Representative voted here.) The Atlanta Community Food Bank is deeply disappointed by this vote. We know from direct experience that private charity cannot make up for this substantial cut to federal food assistance.
The House of Representatives will be debating a proposed $40 billion cut to the nation’s food stamp program (now known as SNAP) this week. For a short, bipartisan update on the issue, this piece by former Republican Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole and former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle is a good place to start.
Think food stamps aren’t going to people who really need them? After losing her job “making really decent money” in 2010, Jessica took two jobs to make ends meet. She was still able to manage her expenses, but then was struck by the unexpected. Food stamps provided the safety net she needed. Hear the rest of the story in Jessica’s words:
Think food stamps aren’t going to people who really need them? Marvin moved to Atlanta for a better life after his wife passed away. But as much as he thrives on work, it’s been hard to find a steady job. To make matters worse, he was hit by a car and is still healing from his injury. Food stamps continue to be a life-saver during this difficult time in his life. Hear the rest of the story in Marvin’s words:
As you have all likely heard, last week, the House of Representatives decided to proceed with the Farm Bill by splitting it into two separate pieces of legislation—a farm only bill, which would cover agriculture programs, and a nutrition bill. It remains to be seen what will happen with the nutrition bill, which would fund critical anti-hunger programs like food stamps/SNAP and TEFAP.
Today, the House failed to pass the Farm Bill by a vote of 195-234. We can consider this vote a significant victory for Americans struggling with hunger. Over the past several days, anti-hunger advocates across the country made 2,700 calls to Congress in opposition to the cuts to SNAP/food stamps. Thank you so much again to everyone who was able to make those calls - they made all the difference.
“When just five people call, we know we need to pay more attention.”
Did you know that individuals cannot purchase diapers on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP - formerly food stamps) or with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program? It’s true. Now, imagine, already being on SNAP and stretching your income as far as it can go, that extra expense of diapers for your child. Diapers are not cheap. You go through quite a few in a day. It adds up in a big way.
This week, the Senate took up the Farm Bill, with a final vote in the coming weeks. The Senate is considering amendments and debating the bill passed by the Senate Agriculture Committee, which contained $4.49 Billion in SNAP (Food Stamp) cuts. As a result, we have a critical window to get our message across before a final vote on the Senate floor.