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Farm Bill 2012
Food banks and hunger programs throughout the country rely on federal nutrition programs to help feed hungry Americans. The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) is particularly important as the source of 25% of the food moving through the national network of food banks.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, is the foundation of the nutrition safety net, delivering monthly benefits to participants through electronic benefit cards that can be used to purchase groceries at stores nationwide. The benefits are targeted at our most vulnerable neighbors. 76 percent of SNAP households include a child, elderly person, or disabled person, and these households receive 84% of all SNAP benefits.
Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) is a program that provides nutritious monthly food packages to low-income participants, nearly 97 percent of whom are seniors living at or below 130 percent of poverty ($14,157 for a senior living alone.) The Cleveland Foodbank distributes 600 of these boxes each month, helping to combat the poor health conditions often found in food insecure seniors.
All of these important programs are authorized and funded through the Farm Bill. The Farm Bill will expire at the end of September, so now is the time to ask our legislators to protect these programs.
Hunger is a national problem, and it needs a national solution that brings the resources and strengths of both private charity and a strong federal safety net. Charity can do a lot, but food banks cannot fill the gap if TEFAP commodity support does not increase and if cuts are made to critical programs like SNAP.
Please take a minute to send a message to your Senators and Member of Congress urging them to protect these programs: http://www.clevelandfoodbank.org/site/Advocacy?pagename=homepage&id=157