Monday, December 01, 2008

Senator Schumer Calls for Emergency Food Aid in Response to Rising Demand

Following the release of data from NYCCAH’s 2008 Hunger Survey indicating a rise in demand and a sharp drop in resources at city soup kitchens and food pantries, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced a plan that aims to get more food to hungry New Yorkers. The plan would increase federal funding for emergency food by $50 million, raise Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP--formerly known as the Food Stamps Program) funds by 10%, and encourage corporate and individual food donations to struggling emergency food programs.

“During these difficult times, food banks and pantries are our cities first and sometimes last line of defense against hunger,” Schumer said. “For far too long, vital emergency food programs have been starved for funding and donations. This plan will be a shot in the arm for food banks and pantries by increasing needed federal aid, encouraging people everywhere to donate, and boosting food stamp support.”

The plan calls for increases to SNAP and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) as part of a second economic stimulus package that Congress is set to debate this month. In order to combat imminent food shortages in the coming months, Schumer will push for extended tax breaks for those who donate food to emergency food programs. The tax incentives would “help ensure that a critical incentive for people to donate food during the holidays isn’t suddenly taken away, curbing donations even more.”

Senator Schumer hopes to gain wide bi-partisan support for the plan, as food programs and families across the nation have been hit hard by the economic crisis.

“We cannot let the spirit of giving fade as out economy tumbles,” said Schumer.

3 comments:

Joy said...

What can we do to help from afar?

NYCCAH said...

Thanks for asking, Joy. As you know, hunger is a national crisis and, as such, requires federal solutions. Contact your elected officials and ask them to support SNAP and TEFAP increases in the stimulus plan currently up for Congressional debate. You can also add your voice to those holding President elect Obama to his promise of ending child hunger by 2015 by signing the campaign petition here: http://www.nyccah.org/endchildhunger Donations to NYCCAH help support innovative anti-hunger program that affect nationwide policy. Find out how you can help here: http://www.nyccah.org/donate.html

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