Be An Advocate for Hunger!
Food Bank of the Rockies advocates to fight hunger both locally and on the national level through Feeding America. Please see updates below for ways you can help! Sign up for email alerts here.
Update: August 6, 2015
Tell Congress Kids Need Nutrition – All Kids!
Exciting News – Hunger Free Summer for Kids Act is introduced – YOUR efforts are working!
We are pleased to support the bipartisan Hunger Free Summer for Kids Act of 2015, introduced by Senators John Boozman (R-AR), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Joe Donnelly (D-IN). This bill would make meaningful strides toward closing the summer child hunger gap by providing children living in communities currently underserved by the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) with nutritious meals during the summer.The summer months are the hungriest time of year for low-income children. Currently, only 18% of children who receive free or reduced price meals during the school year are participating in SFSP and in Colorado, less than 10% of eligible kids receive summer lunches. This isn’t good enough and we must do more to make sure low-income children are receiving the fuel they need to grow and thrive.The summer meals program was designed to ensure low-income children have access to meals when school is out, but the program only reaches a fraction of eligible kids. Across the country, one-third of all low-income children live in communities not eligible to operate open summer meals sites. For millions of other children, the barriers they face reaching summer feeding sites are insurmountable – lack of transportation, high crime areas, streets that are too dangerous for children to cross alone. In rural communities, where kids are dispersed over large distances, these barriers are particularly acute.The Hunger Free Summer for Kids Act of 2015 would strengthen SFSP and complement current summer feeding sites by providing states with new program models to reach unserved children, such as summer EBT or allowing off-site consumption of meals. These options would be available in communities that do not qualify for open congregate feeding sites and certain others that face barriers operating a site. Summer EBT and non-congregate models have proven to be highly effective in reaching kids in hard to serve areas. Recent summer EBT demonstrations showed a more than 30 percent reduction in child hunger and non-congregate feeding demonstrations, including backpack meal programs and meal delivery options, reached children in rural and hard-to-reach communities who otherwise could not access a site. When fully implemented, this bill could reach as many as 6.5 million low-income children.The Hunger Free Summer for Kids Act of 2015 will ensure that no matter where our children live, they will have access to the nutrition they need to grow and thrive during the summer months. We urge Congress to make investing in closing the summer gap a top priority this year and include this bill as part of Child Nutrition Reauthorization.
Can you reach out and share your comments with your Senators to let them know kids should not go hungry over the summer?
Please thank Senator Bennet and request support from Senator Gardner if you’re in Colorado.
In Wyoming, please reach out to both Senators to ask for their support.
Every five years, Congress must reauthorize child nutrition programs. During this process, Congress will debate new funding levels, ways to strengthen and improve the programs, and develop new policies to make sure our nation’s children have access to healthy, nutritious food. The current bill, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, is set to expire on September 30, 2015.
What can you do to help?
You can help us shape the debate in Washington simply by lending your voice to this important matter. Make sure you are receiving our emails so we can contact you about the latest news coming from Congress and how you can get involved.
Here’s a sample letter:
Congress will decide how to fund child nutrition programs and the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. I’m writing to you today to let you know that I’ll be closely watching what you do because ending child hunger in America is an issue that’s near and dear to my heart.
Given that one-in-five households with children are food insecure, we can, and must, do better. Nobody should be hungry in America, and as a Member of Congress, you have an opportunity to make a real impact by passing legislation that ensures kids have enough to eat so they can thrive in the classroom and beyond.
As Congress debates Child Nutrition Reauthorization, I hope you are willing to be a champion for our nation’s children, especially when they are not in school and no longer have access to school lunch and breakfast. You have an opportunity to take an important step towards building a stronger America by ensuring our nation’s kids have the fuel they need to succeed. I hope you take advantage of it.
Email to your Members of Congress to visit Food Bank of the Rockies through this easy form from Feeding America, so they understand what hunger looks like in their community. We encourage you to customize it in your own words.
Contact Congress through Feeding America’s hotline:
- Call our advocacy hotline at (888) 398-8702
- Listen to the pre-recorded message and enter your zip code when prompted.
- Connect to your Representative first. Once you are connected to your Representative, state that you are a constituent and give your name and your hometown. Be sure to give the name of the food bank or local agency you are affiliated with as well.
- Let them know you are calling about the Farm Bill and deliver your message.
- Dial back in to make sure you talk to both of your Senators and your Representative.
Recruit others by spreading the word through your social media channels and share our posts for call-in day so others can help too.
Thanks for helping us be a voice for food banks and our neighbors in need at this critical time.
We appreciate your help!
Colorado HB14-1119 Helps Colorado Farmers, Ranchers and the Hungry
Governor Hickenlooper signed Colorado Charitable Crop Donation Bill into law May 30, 2014. The 25-percent tax credit will go into effect January 2015 and be offered to local producers who donate excess foods to Colorado food banks.
Thank you to all who helped make this tax credit for farmers and ranchers a reality. More hungry people will have nutritious local food to eat thanks to everyone who supported this legislation. House Bill 14-1119 advanced from the House of Representatives and Senate, with widespread support under the dome and in Colorado communities. Read the act here.
The Colorado Charitable Crop Donation Act not only will increase fresh-food donations from local producers but also provide struggling Coloradans with additional access to fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy products and meat products. 1 in 7 Coloradans face a time when there is not enough money to buy food.
Feeding Colorado—Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado, Community Food Share, Food Bank for Larimer County, Food Bank of the Rockies and Weld Food Bank—served as originating supporters for this legislation, along with tremendous support from Hunger Free Colorado, Colorado Farm Bureau, Colorado Nonprofit Association, CSU-Extension, LiveWell Colorado and Rocky Mountain Farmers Union. The bill was sponsored by Rep. McLachlan (D-Durango), Sen. Hodge (D-Brighton) and Sen. Roberts (R-Durango), and co-sponsored by Rep. Dore (R-Elizabeth).
“Passing the Colorado Charitable Crop Donation Act to help our agricultural industry provide additional food for the hungry is a ‘win-win’ for our entire community,” said Jim Baldwin, president of Feeding Colorado, the originating sponsor of the legislation. “Feeding Colorado is grateful for the bipartisan support of this bill and excited to be able to distribute more farm-fresh food through our programs and partner agencies.”
The Farm Bill Passes February 4, 2014
For three years, Feeding America, Food Bank of the Rockies and our fellow Feeding America member food banks and many constituents have fought tooth and nail to ensure that the Farm Bill protects hunger-relief programs and advances our mission of a hunger-free America.
Thanks to everyone’s efforts, we prevented the most harmful cuts, however, any reduction in SNAP benefits will have a significant impact. The $8.6 billion cut means that 850,000 SNAP recipients will lose an average of $90 in monthly benefits. That’s real food for families who are struggling.
Thank you for supporting our efforts in Washington to help hungry people.