Tell Your Representative to Protect SNAP Benefits for Hungry Americans and Support the Senate Bipartisan Version of the Farm Bill.
On June 28, the Senate passed the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 by a vote of 86-11.
The bipartisan Senate Farm Bill protects funding and access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – which is a program that provides more than 40 million Americans, mostly children, seniors, and people with disabilities, with the food they need.
The Senate Farm Bill also provides funding for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). We are encouraged by the $100 million in additional funding TEFAP received during floor consideration, thanks to an amendment offered by Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and support from committee leadership. As the legislation moves forward, our friends at Feeding America will continue to work with representatives from both the House and Senate to strengthen SNAP and TEFAP.
Your advocacy over the last couple of weeks was critical in bringing awareness to the importance of hunger issues and critical programs as the House and Senate negotiated.
We Still Need Your Support!
In the coming weeks and months, as the House and Senate reconcile their versions of the Farm Bill, it will be critical for you to continue to elevate the importance of SNAP and TEFAP to ensure we’re able to provide food to hungry families.
Below are actions you can take after passage of the Senate Farm Bill:
Tweet or post on your Senators social media page: Thank them for their support of the Senate Farm Bill and remind them of the importance of TEFAP and SNAP. Click here to see how your Senator voted.
E-mail your Senators to thank them for their “yes” vote: Here’s some sample email language: Click here to learn how to contact your Senators
Dear [Senator name],
As your constituent and a supporter of [food bank name], I’m writing to thank you for voting for a Farm Bill that protects the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and increases funding for the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), which helps food banks provide nutritious foods.
For those that need help from food pantries to feed their families, TEFAP provides food banks with nutritious food from U.S. farmers and producers . In fact, almost one in five meals distributed by all local hunger-relief agencies in 2017 was moved, stored, and served because of TEFAP, which is a cornerstone of the food supply for our national network of food banks. Failing
to adequately fund the program will inhibit our ability to meet the needs of those who are hungry in our community.
Food assistance programs like SNAP and TEFAP let all people participate in their local economies and makes our communities stronger. Thank you for your support for a strong Farm Bill that invests in food assistance.
Keep checking this page!
We’ll post additional opportunities to make your voices heard on the need to pass a Farm Bill that protects people who are hungry and vulnerable. Our work to lift the stories of how food banks provide nutritious foods to hungry families with the help of programs like TEFAP and SNAP is critical as the House and Senate work on a final Farm Bill.
Thank You for Learning More about how the Farm Bill affects Hungry Families!
Your Input Could Prevent Devastating Cuts to SNAP. Reach Out to Congress and Ask for a strong Farm Bill that protects hungry families!
We know there are many issues Congress is facing. Thank you for helping us keep hunger at the forefront!
Current proposed changes to SNAP in the House version of the Farm Bill put children, older adults and the working poor at risk. We’re deeply concerned and thank you in advance for reaching out to support hungry families. The Senate Bill is bipartisan and supports critical programs preventing hunger. Encourage your representative to support the Senate version of the bill.
General Talking Points on the Farm Bill – Please use these to contact your members of Congress.
- The food bank is deeply concerned about the House Agriculture Committee’s Farm Bill legislation released April 12. The bill’s severe cuts to the SNAP program through
burdensome and unnecessary work time limits and restrictions on eligibility will lengthen the lines at our pantries, soup kitchens, and other sites that serve hungry people.
- The deep cuts to SNAP will negatively impact the people we serve and increase hunger in our community, and our food bank will not be able to meet the additional demand. For every meal we provide, the SNAP program is able to provide 12 meals.
- The legislation makes significant changes to SNAP that shift funds into administrative programs, place additional burdens on state agencies,and create more government bureaucracy. The impact of this would be to take SNAP away from low-income working people with children, making it harder for working parents to participate in SNAP.
- The House Farm Bill proposal mandates changes to SNAP work requirements that will impact children and seniors. The changes show little understanding of the challenges parents face because of costly childcare and unstable work hours.
- The House Agriculture Committee held 21 hearings on the SNAP program, yet this bill does not reflect the testimony the Committee heard from more than 60 experts, program participants and government officials over two years. The committee should be held accountable by the House rejecting this bill.
- We want to see a strong Farm Bill that protects the hungry as well as struggling farmers and rural communities, but this bill would only worsen hunger and make it harder for children, seniors and families to access food assistance.
- We oppose the House Farm Bill as written and we urge you to oppose the bill as well.
- Food is a must for people to thrive, and no one ought to go hungry in a country as rich in resources as the United States. Hunger prevents individuals from being able to work at their best level, concentrate, and learn. It also adversely impacts their overall health.
- The Feeding America network is the nation’s largest charitable response to hunger. Food Bank of the Rockies is part of this network of 200 food banks and 60,000 community agencies work together with corporate partners and in longstanding successful public/private partnerships to assist more than 46 million people a year, including 12 million children and 7 million seniors.
- According to Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap 2017 report, 1 in 8 individuals in the United States, and 1 in 6 children, are food insecure. All told, 42 million people, including 13 million children, live in households without consistent access to adequate food, and the need among people who remain food insecure continues to rise.
- The average amount of additional money needed by food insecure individuals to meet their food needs has increased to over $900 per year, or more than $3,600 for a family of four. These families are forced to make unthinkable tradeoffs every day due to a lack of resources, with 69% reporting having to choose between food and utilities, and 66% having to choose between food and medical care.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- This reality facing so many of our neighbors across the country suggests the need for modern policy changes that increase the support available through the Supplemental
Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the cornerstone of federal nutrition assistance, which provides food resources to 42 million Americans each year.
- Lawmakers should be looking to expand the federal investment in SNAP, one of the most efficient and effective federal programs that reduces hunger and helps millions of families lift themselves out of poverty. SNAP improves education and health outcomes while reducing healthcare costs. SNAP supports an increasing number of working families in low-paying jobs and incentivizes workforce participation.
- Regrettably, rather than increasing the support provided by SNAP, the House bill would take away a vital nutrition lifeline for millions of Americans, by limiting the assistance available to parents with school-aged children, as well as adults who continue to seek employment.
- The House measure also proposes additional changes to the SNAP program that would further reduce the food assistance available to hungry individuals and families across the country. Specifically, we oppose any changes that would further restrict access to the SNAP program, limit the food choices available to SNAP households, or curtail the availability of nutrition education and other resources that help SNAP participants better meet the needs of their families.
- SNAP provides 12 meals for every 1 meal made available through Feeding America’s food banks. Our network, while providing critical support for those in need, cannot meet the increased demand that will result from these changes. Food banks and agency partners will have to turn people away or scale back the support they are able to provide in their communities.
- SNAP is the clearest and most important demonstration of our nation’s commitment that none of our neighbors should go hungry, and we should not turn our backs on people when they are most in need of help.
The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP).
- Our nation’s food banks receive food from a variety of sources, including TEFAP, retail store donations, manufacturing donations, produce, and purchased food. While SNAP is the cornerstone of the federal response to hunger, TEFAP is essential to the work that food banks do every day by providing nutritious pantry staples, protein, and fruits and vegetables to augment donated and purchased food.
- Last year TEFAP provided around 600 meals to individuals through the Feeding America network. The additional funding provided to TEFAP in the last farm bill has been a critical part of our work to address hunger.
- We support funding TEFAP at $350 million a year for food purchases and $100 million per year for storage and distribution to ensure that food banks do not see a drop in TEFAP food in the next farm bill.
Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)
- Seven million seniors in the United States live in households without consistent access to adequate food.
- The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) currently provides a vital lifeline to some of those seniors most in need through the distribution of nearly 730,000 nutritious
food packages each month in 49 states, the District of Columbia, and 3 Indian Tribal Organizations.
Please contact us if you have questions!
Contact Your Members of Congress
- 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!
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