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Live Blogging from the Idaho Hunger Summit: Closing session
Each breakout session came up with a list of their top three priorities of what they’d like to work on in the upcoming year. The Idaho Hunger Relief Task Force and IIRAH will take these recommendations and turn them into advocacy priorities for next year. Here were the top two (there were 5 but they advanced the PowerPoint faster than I could type. Sorry):
1) Remove asset tests for food stamp eligibility (would require a statewide fix)
2) Reauthorization of Child Nutrition Programs
Why do I love being around anti-hunger advocates? Because no where else in the world can the announcer say “eliminate the asset test for
Food Stamps SNAP” and have the crowd go absolutely bonkers wild. The “woot” quote was deafening.
Today was a great day. Lots of positive energy and a lot of good momentum as we approach the 2009 sessions in Congress and the Idaho legislature. Lots of folks affiliated with churches told me they plan to deepen their own church’s commitment to educate their congregations and to advocate.
Of course, making progress on these issues next year will not be without resistance. As Jim reminded us at lunch, the economic situation will undoubtedly be a strain on federal and state budgets next year. No one would dispute the political reality that new investments for anti-hunger programs (or any programs for that matter) will be easy to come by. But it’s also true that when Congress needs to find money, they do. If we can find dollars measured in trillions for wars or bailout packages, why not a few billion to make sure that kids don’t go hungry. There’s simply no reason we can’t do it, and we look forward to making this case to legislators next year.
Way too many people to recognize for the success of this conference, but a particular shout out to Kathy Gardner from the Idaho Hunger Relief Task Force and Vivian Parrish from IIRAH. Y'all are the best!
Well, I’m signing off and headed back to Portland tonight to see my beautiful wife and chickens. Thanks for reading, and Go Broncos!
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