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2017 Legislative Priorities
As part of the Feeding America network, we join with more than 200 food banks across the country to advocate for programs that increase opportunity and maintain a bipartisan commitement to protect hungry men, women and children.
• Oppose efforts to block grant or cut SNAP through the federal budget process. The counter-cyclical structure of SNAP allows it to respond efficiently and effectively to changes in the economy.
• Oppose efforts to cut TEFAP and CSFP through the federal budget process.
• Ensure charitable giving incentives that nonprofits rely on and tax credits for working families are protected in any tax reform language included in a budget resolution.
Protecting and Strengthening SNAP: SNAP is efficient and effective, reduces food insecurity and helps working families put healthy food on the table. Millions of unemployed Americans remain without a job, food assistance, or a job training program to enable economic recovery.
–Proposals to block grant SNAP, cap or cut funding, or otherwise restrict participation would result in millions more Americans losing food assistance.
–SNAP benefits are inadequate and Feeding America recommends Congress transition to calculating SNAP benefits based on the low-cost food plan.
Protecting and Strengthening The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP): To enable resources needed by food banks, Congress should increase funding for TEFAP food purchases and protect TEFAP storage and distributions funds.
Strengthening donation policies and incentives in the Farm Bill: Feeding America urges Congress to address policy and regulatory barriers to food donation through expanding FSIS and FDA guidelines to include food donation; expand access to USDA grant programs addressing agriculture policy and programs to ensure food donation and food banks are a key component of connecting US consumers with US grown food; and expand resources to invest in ag surplus removal programs in state and regional ag economies to provide growers and food banks a method to connect excess wholesome food with communities in need.
- Protect and strengthen the charitable tax deduction to ensure the ability of our network to raise vitally needed funds and supplement vital federal programs.
- Protect and expand the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC), which lift millions of working families out of poverty and increase the stability they have found through the workforce.
- Protect and strengthen food donation tax incentives, which play a powerful role in connecting excess nutritious food with people in need. Without the tax incentives, it costs growers, retailers, and food companies more to donate food than it does to landfill it.
• While federal CNR legislation will not likely be pursued in 2017, we urge Congress to protect the funding and structure of child nutrition programs in budget and spending legislation.
• We urge USDA to ensure that regulations on child nutrition programs protect access to these vital programs for the millions of children that rely on them for nutritious food.
Contact Your Members of Congress
Contact Congress through Feeding America’s hotline:
- Call the 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 why you are calling 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.
Thank you for reaching out with us!
Key hunger facts
Who Are The Hungry?
- Children make up about half of the clients served through Food Bank of the Rockies.
- 14% of clients are seniors, age 60+
- 31% are White, 18% are Black/African American, 38% are Hispanic/Latino , 13% identify as some other race
- 23% did not graduate high school or obtain a GED, 45% have a GED or HS Diploma, 25% have education beyond a high school diploma/GED and 7% have a 4-year college degree or higher
- 10% are living in temporary housing
- 10% do not have access to cooking facilities or refrigeration
- 37% of households had a member working for pay in the last four weeks, 63% had a person working for pay in the last 12 months
- 19% are grandparents who have responsibility for grandchildren who live with them
- 21% have a household member who has served or is serving in the US military
- 20% are in poor health
- 93% have incomes less than $30K/year, 48% have incomes of $10K/year or less
- 70% have incomes at or below the poverty level
- 61% choose between medicine and food
- 65% choose between mortgage/rent and food
- 68% choose between transportation and food
- 72% choose between utilities and food
Hunger and Poverty in Colorado
- 18.1% of Colorado children live in poverty and 8% are living in extreme poverty. (coloradokids.org – 2014)
- 39% of Colorado children live in households with incomes less than 200% of poverty. (coloradokids.org – 2014)
- Poverty in Colorado has increased since 2001. The total poverty rate in Colorado increased from 9.6% in 2001 to 12.9% in 2012. Furthermore, Colorado’s child poverty rate increased from 12.2% in 2001 to 18.1% in 2012.
- 7% of Colorado seniors live below 100% of poverty and 28% live below 200% of poverty.
- Denver’s Road Home Point in Time Study 2013
- Kids Count Report 2016
- USDA Food Insecurity Report 2011 – 2013
- QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau
- Feeding America
- Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity
- The Colorado Children’s Campaign
- Colorado Center on Law and Policy and Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute
- Piton Foundation
- U.S. Census
- USDA Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension service
- USDA Economic Research Service