The only way to truly know the hunger millions of Americans struggle with every day is to live it. I know that with just five days it is impossible to really understand that struggle. My hope is that through my experiences with the Hunger Challenge, I will understand just a little more than I did before about the struggles many of our neighbors face every day and by sharing my thoughts and experiences it will help someone else understand.
This month is a critical time to be talking about hunger in our community. The State legislature has until Friday to approve a state budget that currently looks like will include cuts to safety net programs that keep many Californians from going hungry. At the federal the senate is working on a Farm Bill that could cut Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)/CalFresh benefits. The House is expected to take up this legislation soon as well.
Two things you can do today:
1. Tweet your support for social safety net programs to CA legislative leaders!
@CASenateDems @MarkLeno Say NO to HHS cuts proposed by @JerryBrownGov, say YES to revenue solutions in the #CABudget !
@CASenateDems @MarkLeno We need a #CAGov that serves the young & old, the low-income and those w/disabilities! Protect HHS in #CABudget
@SpeakerPerez TY for speaking out for the social safety net ! @CASenateDems @MarkLeno CA families need your help too: NO HHS CUTS in #CABudget !
@CASenateDems @MarkLeno Say NO to further health and human service cuts in the #CABudget proposed by @JerryBrownGov !
@CASenateDems @MarkLeno We need YOU to champion vital health & social programs in #CA Budget ! Revenue solutions, not cuts @JerryBrownGov
@CASenateDems @MarkLeno tell @JerryBrownGov NO MORE CUTS to vital social safety net programs in #CABudget !
2. Urge Congress to protect current funding for the SNAP in the 2012 Farm Bill and to maintain current structure, eligibility requirements, and benefit levels.
The U.S. Senate is currently considering Farm Bill legislation passed in committee that would cut $4.5 billion from SNAP, and the House is expected to take up Farm Bill reauthorization soon. The proposed cuts in the Senate Farm Bill, S.3240, would prevent California from implementing the “Heat and Eat” application simplification reform passed by AB 6 (Fuentes) in 2011. This cut would mean less food in the refrigerator for already hungry families. An estimated 200,000 California households would not receive a 13% increase in benefits, or about $43 a month.
This challenge is helping me to see firsthand how difficult it is to eat adequately and nutritiously on a SNAP budget. When your budget is already this tight, $43 a month can mean the difference between eating or not.
Call your representatives at the U.S. Capitol Switchboard, (202) 224-3121. Or find them on facebook and post this message there!
Deliver this message: As your constituent, I urge you to protect hunger-relief programs in the Farm Bill and oppose any amendments that would weaken SNAP and other hunger-relief programs.
If you would like to learn more about the Hunger Challenge and the issue of Hunger in America, please visit the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano’s website.