During the August recess of Congress, the Texas Food Bank Network sent each Texas member of Congress a letter about the effects of proposed cuts to SNAP for that Congress member's district. The letter offers a clear understanding of those effects. Read a sample letter.
July 11, 2012: Call your Congressional Rep to support food and nutrition in the Farm Bill
LEGISLATIVE ACTION ALERT
2012 Farm Bill - House Draft
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
The House Agriculture Committee has released a draft of their 2012 Farm Bill - known as the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act (FARRM). The committee is scheduled to begin debate on the bill on Wednesday July 11th. It makes significant cuts to food and nutrition programs. Your phone call is needed today, July 11th, to urge Congress to support food and nutrition in the bill.
The cuts to nutrition would . . .
- Eliminate SNAP benefits entirely for 2 to 3 million Americans
- Slash $90 per month from 500,000 households
- Eliminate free school meals for nearly 300,000 children
- These cuts would be devastating for families that rely on these benefits to gain access to healthy and nutritious food.
Take Action Now! Dial, toll-free,1-877-698-8228. When prompted, enter your zip code and listen to the brief instructions. (To determine who is your U.S. Representative, visit Contact Elected Officials.)
- You will be patched through to your representative’s office.
- Ask to speak to the Agriculture Legislative Assistant. If he/she is not in the office relay the message to the person on the phone.
- Support nutrition programs in the Farm Bill
- SNAP is a temporary assistance program...the average SNAP participant receives benefits for only 10 months
- SNAP is used to purchase healthy food...bananas and milk are the top two foods purchased by SNAP recipients and more than 85% of benefits are spent on fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy and meat
- SNAP helps the very needy...a family of 4 must earn under $23,000 per year to qualify for SNAP benefits
- SNAP participants work...most people receiving SNAP are working and often more than one job
Nutrition Assistance: Facts to consider.
Federal Budget Debate 2012
Proposed Cuts to Nutrition Assistance for Elderly, Disabled, Children and the Working Poor, May 11, 2012 (PDF - 1 page)
Comments to send to Congress by May 18, 2012, to support nutrition legislation in the Farm Bill that provides food for distribution and nutrition outreach by regional food banks like Tarrant Area Food Bank.
To contact your U.S. Representative and Senators, visit Contact Elected Officials.
The Hill, House votes to replace Pentagon cuts mandated by debt deal
May 10, 2012
The House voted Thursday (May 10) to override steep cuts to the Pentagon’s budget mandated by last summer's debt deal and replace them with spending reductions to food stamps and other mandatory social programs.
Both parties are looking to avoid $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts to Pentagon and domestic discretionary spending that are mandated to begin in 2013 because of the failure of the deficit supercommittee to agree to a deficit-reduction plan. The entire process was set up by the 2011 deal between Congress and the White House to raise the debt ceiling.
The House bill would leave pending mandatory cuts in place, including cuts to Medicare. It would turn off $72 billion in cuts to both the Pentagon and non-defense spending mandated by sequestration, but add $315 billion in new cuts, none of which are imposed on the Pentagon.
The SNAP Issue
The Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly Food Stamps, provides more food assistance to our most vulnerable citizens than any other program in the nation, including the national network of regional food banks. When federal funding for SNAP is reduced, regional food banks and their partner food pantries can be overwhelmed with requests for food assistance, especially during down economic times such as many families continue to face today.
Thus, it is of particular concern that the U.S. House of Representatives has voted to drastically cut funding for SNAP AND convert that funding into a block-grant for States to use as they choose.
How to Help
Your phone call, email or letter to your elected U.S. Representative voicing your concerns about this proposed legislation could make the difference in the coming weeks of debate on the federal budget.
To contact your Representative, visit Contact Elected Officials.
Individuals and groups are invited to communicate with their families, friends, neighbors, colleagues, state and congressional legislators about legislation and policies that help fight hunger in Texas.
On the state level, Tarrant Area Food Bank supports outreach to State Legislators and other elected officials by the Texas Food Bank Network. This network consists of the 18 regional food banks and one food rescue organization that are members of Feeding America, the national network of regional food banks and food rescue operations.