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Tag ‘ safety net ’

Assemblymember Yamada Takes the Hunger Challenge – Day 5

Guest post by Assemblymember Mariko Yamada: Filing my final entry for the 2013 Hunger Challenge, Day 5.  Having participated for the past five consecutive years as a state legislator, and previous years as a county supervisor and at times as an “average citizen” over my almost forty years of public service, what is striking to me is the constancy of two dynamics:  continuing hunger in America, and the consistent mischaracterization of those who depend upon SNAP benefits.

Is there hunger in America?  Yes.  The facts are incontrovertible:  http://www.worldhunger.org/articles/Learn/us_hunger_facts.htm

Has SNAP been an effective program?  I say yes:  http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/

For last night’s dinner, I finished the brown rice and remaining chicken thigh, and scavenged some of the zucchini that I cooked with the spaghetti and pasta sauce made on Monday night.  Drank a little bit of remaining juice and coffee for my liquids.

Breakfast on this last day was coffee only,  and lunch one of two remaining overripe bananas and the last yogurt.  With today’s temperatures soaring past 100 degrees, I am drinking tap water to stay hydrated.

What I’ve missed most this whole week is… dessert!  People who know me understand J

So, as I finish my 2013 Hunger Challenge, I will finish up the last of the spaghetti and have some wheat toast, and end with that single Odwalla bar that I bought for a week end treat.   I will have perhaps 3 slices of bread leftover from the week.

I want to thank all who participated in the 2013 Hunger Challenge with me, or who read about our experiences.  In doing so, I hope that there were some aspects of the issues that were new or involved additional thinking.

Let’s all recommit ourselves to ending hunger and poverty in America by reducing waste and strengthening the economy.  Thank you to all who do this work every day!

Senate Passes Farm Bill

The Farm Bill that passed the Senate yesterday preserves the strong structure of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps). We commend the Senate for rejecting amendments that would have crippled the program and left millions of people who rely on the program for basic food poorer, hungrier, and unhealthier. The attacks by some lawmakers on the strongest part of the safety net for millions of low-income seniors, working parents and other adults, unemployed families with children, people with disabilities, members of the Armed Services and veterans, and others were outrageous.

Thank you Senators Boxer and Feinstein for voting against the harmful amendments and being two of just 33 senators who stood up to protect SNAP by voting in support of the Gillibrand amendment. Our only wish is that more Senators had done the same as the bill that was passed does contain a $4.5 billion cut to SNAP that will harm large numbers of struggling families. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), an estimated 500,000 households a year will lose $90 per month in SNAP benefits.

These are real cuts with real consequences – they mean lost meals for Americans who are already hungry. As the Farm Bill moves through the rest of the process, we will work with our elected officials and national partners, FRAC and Feeding America, to produce a final bill with no cuts to SNAP and that preserves the strong structure of the program. No community is free from hunger, and it is time for Congress to tackle this challenge with the urgency the situation demands.

We won’t be able to make a change without your help! Stay tuned for action alerts as the Farm Bill continues.