United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County is committed to reducing the impact that poverty has on our students, families and our community. The following Advocacy Alert comes to us from our partners at MANNA FoodBank. They have a clear call to action: call your representatives on Tuesday, May 8 and demand they vote NO on any cuts to SNAP. Below are details about the proposed cuts and potential local impacts.
Proposed Cuts to SNAP Threaten National Anti-Hunger Efforts
Asheville, NC (May 3, 2018) — The House of Representatives is currently considering proposed changes to the Farm Bill, the nation’s most consequential food-related legislation that provides for the most effective anti-hunger program in American history, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). More than 41 million Americans utilize SNAP throughout the year to help bridge temporary grocery gaps in their household budget. The majority of Americans that depend on this program for their main source of food are children and seniors.
Currently, proposed cuts would drop millions of people from being eligible for this life-saving program when they need it most. These proposed changes would end SNAP assistance for many low-income parents of young children, older Americans, and working families.
The truth is, the proposed cuts to SNAP currently being considered by Congress would be devastating to our communities, especially for our most vulnerable citizens: our children, and our seniors. We believe that seniors in their later years should not have to choose between purchasing necessary medicines or feeding themselves. We find it unjust that Congress would allow malnourished American children to be the “new norm” if they enact these proposed changes.
For every meal provided by a food bank, SNAP provides 12. Food banks and other charities cannot possibly make up for these proposed cuts to SNAP. The proposed cuts would eliminate at least 10% of current funding levels, which essentially doubles what food banks would need to provide to make up for the deficit. For MANNA FoodBank alone, that means:
- Double our current partner network of 220 food relief agencies to over 440
- Increasing the record amount of food distributed in 2016/2017 from 17.3 million pounds to 34.6 million pounds of food every year
- Increasing our volunteer work force from 6,400 individuals to over 12,000 yearly volunteers
- Increasing our fundraising efforts to secure more than double our current projected budget needs
This does not begin to address accommodating the delivery, storage, and distribution of this massive increase. The above examples illustrate what would be needed to cover the deficit created by cuts to SNAP in Western North Carolina alone.
With food banks already struggling to meet the current growing need for food, any cuts to this program would completely overwhelm our network. At the end of the day, this means that people would go hungry.
We are asking anti-hunger advocates to join us in calling our representatives on Tuesday, May 8 and demand they vote NO on any cuts to SNAP.
WE NEED YOUR VOICE. Community support is what makes food banks’ work possible. Community support is the only thing that can affect positive changes to this legislation.
We believe every individual should be able to fulfill their dreams and reach towards their greatest potential, and that all begins with having enough to eat. We need for those drafting changes to the bill to work with food policy advocates to draft fair, common-sense, and humane legislation that doesn’t punish our nation’s children, seniors, and low-income working families.
About MANNA FoodBank
MANNA FoodBank is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization serving Western North Carolina since 1983. As an accredited member of Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger relief organization, the mission of MANNA FoodBank is to involve, educate, and unite people in the work of ending hunger in Western North Carolina. MANNA serves over 220 community-based non-profit food assistance partner agencies in 16 Western North Carolina counties and distributed 17.3 million pounds of food in 2016/2017. MANNA FoodBank is a nonpartisan organization committed to sharing facts and information about issues related to hunger in Western North Carolina and how they affect those we serve. For more information, visit MANNAFoodbank.org, or call 828-299-FOOD.
About Feeding America
Feeding America is the nationwide network of 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. Together, we provide food to more than 46 million people through 60,000 food pantries and meal programs in communities across America. Feeding America also supports programs that improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a role in ending hunger. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. Educate. Together we can solve hunger. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.