There are many legislative issues that impact hunger. Some of our top-line policy areas that impact our neighbors, our agencies, and our Food Bank include:
The Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program (SNAP, formerly known as “food stamps”) is the first line of public policy defense against food insecurity. It is the largest anti-hunger program in the United States, allowing over 40 million people to purchase healthy and nutritious groceries in times of need. It helps feed some of our most vulnerable communities, including children, seniors, and individuals with disabilities. SNAP is proven to be highly effective in reducing food insecurity, pulling people above the poverty line, and stimulating our nation’s economy. To learn more about SNAP, click here. Because SNAP is a federal program administered by the states, we work with both federal and state legislators to strengthen SNAP and advocate for rules and regulations that are effective, efficient, and equitable for our neighbors.
For some kids, a meal at school may be the only food they eat each day. When school’s out, hunger kicks in. That’s why federally funded meals are vital to children all year long. These meals provide nutritious food that keeps kids focused in school, growing healthy and strong, and living happy and healthy lives. To keep our kids from going hungry, we must advocate for strong federal child nutrition programs that reach every child facing hunger.
Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) is the act that Congress aims to pass every five years to provide nutritious food to children and families in need. It impacts many federal child nutrition programs, such as:
To find out more about CNR and child nutrition programs, click here. We advocate for strengthening these critically important programs so that no child ever has to worry about where their next meal is coming from.
One way that our Food Bank receives food is through federal government programs. The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) provides federal food commodities to hunger relief organizations, like food banks and pantries, so that low-income individuals and families have access to food at no cost. This program is critical in helping us meet the need in our communities to continue to feed our hungry neighbors, and you can learn more about it here. TEFAP is administered at the federal level and distributed at the state level. Therefore, we advocate to both our federal and state legislators to adequately fund and strengthen all aspects of this program so as many neighbors as possible have access to food.
The Farm Bill is a comprehensive piece of legislation that authorizes and funds many nutrition and agriculture programs across the country, including SNAP and TEFAP. This bill not only helps us feed our hungry neighbors, but strengthens our nation’s agriculture industry and promotes conservation efforts. The Farm Bill is up for reauthorization every five years, and we are committed to advocating for the continued strengthening and protection of programs within the Farm Bill. To read more about this legislation, click here.