Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Debt Ceiling Signals Battles Ahead for Hunger Programs

Taken from the hunger Champions Blog at Feeding America.org

Debt Ceiling Signals Battles Ahead for Hunger Programs

August 18, 2011
While a debt ceiling deal ultimately passed - narrowly averting a disastrous federal default that threatened critical hunger relief programs - the budget battle affecting our nation's hungry has only just begun.

Cuts Imperil Federal Safety Net Programs

As reported in a recent CNN story, Congress reached an agreement to enact spending cuts, but which programs will bear the brunt is still to be determined by the Super Committee. A likely target? Federal hunger relief programs, which are already struggling to support a growing need in a time of economic uncertainty.

In the face of rising food and gas prices, Feeding America's food banks count on our nation's nutrition assistance programs to feed hungry Americans. And, as recently profiled in the political blogosphere, even programs such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), which helps 9 million women and children - is at risk of devastating cuts. We can't let Congress take food out of the mouths of hungry people, simply because they don't have the most powerful voice.

ACT NOW: Protect America's Hungry

As Congress considers which programs to cut, they must reflect on our core values as a nation - and what the choices we make say about our priorities. The bottom line: America's most vulnerable citizens must not be the casualties of crippling cuts to essential hunger relief programs.

Together, we can let lawmakers know that balancing the budget on the backs of our nation's hungry is not an option. Take action today to protect programs that support hungry Americans in the wake of the deficit reduction deal!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

From Feeding America Foundation

On February 13, President Barack Obama released his 2013 Budget Proposal and Hunger Champions nationwide were encouraged that the proposal recognized the importance of strong investments in hunger-relief programs—particularly when so many are still struggling—while still making strides to reduce the deficit.

As Feeding America President and CEO Vicki Escarra said in a statement of support for the President’s budget, “Feeding America applauds the President’s new budget proposal for providing strong funding for federal nutrition programs, which help millions of struggling Americans put food on the table.” Read her full statement here.

Now we need you to help get the word out in your community. In honor of “Random Acts of Kindness Day,” please share your thoughts about the President’s budget and why we should invest in hunger-relief programs with your social networks—Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. Here are some sample posts you might use:

Facebook: “In honor of Random Acts of Kindness Day and as a Feeding America advocate, I’m raising awareness of President Obama’s 2013 budget. Thankfully, the budget includes funding for federal hunger relief and nutrition programs. With so many Americans facing hunger, we should all help make hunger relief a top priority in Washington!”

Twitter: “2013 Pres budget recognizes need for investment in #hunger relief programs #HungerCostsUsAll.”

By sharing this news with your online circles, you can help raise awareness and be a “social voice” for hunger relief. You can also join the conversation by following us on Facebook and Twitter.

How does the new budget proposal support hunger relief?

  • It restores SNAP benefits used to help pay for the Child Nutrition Reauthorization.
  • It fully funds the purchase of nutritious commodities for TEFAP (The Emergency Food Assistance Program), a critical source of food for our nation’s food banks.
  • It provides sufficient funding for CFSP (Commodity Supplemental Food Program), which provides monthly packages of food primarily to low-income seniors who are struggling to make ends meet.
  • It provides funding for WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children), which ensures America's children - our future - get the nutrition they need.
  • It supports implementation of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which improves child nutrition programs.

The decisions our elected officials make really do matter—to families struggling to get by, to seniors whose savings have been decimated by the recession, and to the millions of kids all across America who go to bed hungry.

Stay tuned to Feeding America and the Hunger Action Center. We’ll keep you up-to-date at key junctures as Congress and the President debate our nation’s priorities—and we’ll let you know when it’s time to take action! Together we can ensure hunger relief remains a priority.