Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger
 

222 posts categorized "SNAP"

Cutting Poverty and Expanding Opportunity


Good jobs that pay a living wage are key to addressing U.S. income inequality. Photo: Roofers install solar panels on a home in the District of Columbia (Courtesy of Mt. Pleasant Solar Coop).

By Allie Gardner

The U.S. economy is continuing to slowly, steadily recover, but too many families are not sharing in the nation’s economic growth, according to a new report from Half in Ten

“Resetting the Poverty Debate: Renewing Our Commitment to Shared Prosperity” finds that income inequality remained high even as the economy grew during the last year. This annual report tracks the nation’s progress toward cutting poverty in half over the next decade, and recommends a set of policy priorities that would help more families escape poverty and enter the middle class. The report cites job creation, boosting wages, and investing in family economic security as means of accomplishing this, and also calls on Congress to end sequestration, and invest in programs that keep Americans out of poverty.

Increasing the minimum wage would help narrow the gap between productivity and compensation, as well as boost the income of low-wage workers, the report finds. While the top five percent of U.S. income earners are the only group that has seen an increase in income since the end of the recession, poorly compensated workers have seen the largest declines in their wages over the last ten years.

The importance of federal safety net programs, such as SNAP (formerly food stamps) and Social Security, is also noted. The former has helped stabilize the food-insecurity rate in recent years, and the latter lifted the income of 25.6 million Americans above the supplemental poverty line. Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World, stressed the importance of these programs at the launch event for the report. Beckmann explained that SNAP “is very vulnerable to deep, deep cuts,” as many members of Congress do not prioritize it. “All of us need to rally around SNAP,” Beckmann added. 

Cutting poverty in half over the next ten years is an important mission.  In order to achieve this goal, Bread for the World believes that hunger and poverty must be put on the national agenda during the next election. Additionally, we must continue to remind our members of Congress that our nation's budget has to be a moral document that reflects our nation's concern for the most vulnerable. 

Allie Gardner is an editorial intern at Bread for the World.

Prioritizing Hope in the Farm Bill and Budget Negotiations

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up (Galatians 6:9).

The farm bill and 2014 budget conference committees continue to meet, and we continue to ask Bread for the World advocates to keep calling and writing their members of Congress. At stake in these negotiations is more than making columns of numbers balance; at stake is the funding for nutrition programs that allow Alli Morris of Bend, Oregon, the opportunity to move on and move up.

The story of Alli and her infant son Andre, told in the video above, shows that nutrition programs are a hand up. The Bend community takes advantage of federal programs to care for those who experience need in their midst. SNAP (formerly food stamps) is the life preserver Alli needs as she makes her way to solid ground. WIC provides the nutrition baby Andre needs to fight a pituitary disease he was born with.

The decisions made by Congress in the next two months must prioritize nutrition programs like SNAP and WIC that value both Alli and Andre's health and future. Some proposals, if enacted, would mean both programs might not be there for another family and community that need them. The automatic cuts called sequestration are chipping away at WIC funding. SNAP, a program that so many Americans have seen as a blessing during the recession and slow recovery, is at risk of being slashed by nearly $40 billion.

Alli and Andre's story reminds us that even if life throws us a few curve balls, there is always hope. Most of us have experienced hardship and can probably recall what it took to overcome difficulty, but not everyone has the same access to a helping hand. Alli insists that she can make a better life for herself and Andre. Her hard work is the essence of the American dream. This family has a chance because there is a community with the tools they need to provide an opportunity for Alli's commitment to take responsibility for her family's future.

It may be easy for members of Congress, sitting at a conference table in Washington, D.C., with reams of paper in front of them, to focus on the columns of dollar figures without seeing that a family's hope is a line item they may cut. It's might be easy for Congress to forget that programs like WIC and SNAP help communities thrive as we care for one another. But it won't be easy if the people the members of Congress represent tell them to prioritize hope. Perhaps you have a story to remind them that hardship can be overcome with the right tools and opportunities. SNAP and WIC are not just programs of hope, but ladders to move lives on and up. 

Quote of the Day: Rev. David Beckmann

IMG_9949

(Robin Stephenson)

"We must remind Congress that God calls our leaders to deliver the needy when they call, the poor and those who have no helper. Gutting programs like SNAP shows a blatant disregard to this divine call."

—Rev. David Beckmann, in "Cutting Food Stamps is a Bad Way to Balance the Budget," from Soujouners' God's Politics blog.

Members of Congress are in the process of making decisions about the budget and farm bill, and faithful advocates must tell them that any final budget or farm bill must not increase hunger.

From the Negotiating Table to the Dinner Table

Chicken leg jpg
In November, many struggling Americans will find it even more difficult to put food on the table as they face the expiration of a temporary increase in food stamp benefits. Congress is negotiating a farm bill that would make even deeper cuts to the vital nutrition assistance program (movie still from A Place at the Table, courtesy of Participant Media).

This week brings Halloween and the arrival of November. The fall season includes a number of holidays that center on food for Americans. But for many people, Friday will bring new hardship and worry. On Nov. 1, a temporary increase in food stamp benefits will expire, making it more difficult for 47 million people to put food on the table. A family of four could see its benefit decrease by as much as $36 per month. 

“Thirty-six dollars a month may not seem like much, but if you are a family of four with an income of $22,000 per year, $36 means several missed meals or increased difficulty in providing for one's children,” writes Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World, in a piece on the Huffington Post Politics Blog. “And if this $11 billion reduction isn't devastating enough, members of the House and Senate have begun to finalize a farm bill that will impact vital anti-hunger programs.”

Today, 41 lawmakers will meet with the goal of merging two versions of the farm bill—one that proposes a nearly $40 billion cut to SNAP over 10 years, and another that includes a $4.1 billion cut. If any of your members of Congress are sitting at the negotiating table, you have an opportunity to influence their decisions and urge them to protect the nation’s number-one defense against hunger from deeper cuts. As food prices increase and benefits decrease, more families will likely find themselves in need of charitable food donations earlier in the month, but any cuts to nutrition assistance will leave a hunger gap that cannot be closed by churches, pantries, or food banks.  

The staff and volunteers at Oregon Food Bank are concerned about cuts to SNAP and made sure that one member at the conference table–Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.)–knows they can’t fill the gap. In a recent op-ed, Oregon Food Bank CEO Susannah Morgan and board member Lisa Sedlar point out that deep cuts to food stamps would increase hunger for 100,000 Oregonians. "[T]he total meals lost in Oregon would be equivalent to the entire statewide food bank network shutting its doors for more than five years," they write in the article.

It's also important to remember that there are real people behind these cuts. The Orlando Sentinel reports that Floridian Robin Petersen, who works full time, can't afford to put enough food on her family’s table without nutrition benefits. “If I didn't get food stamps, we'd be at the food pantries every week," Peterson says in the piece. In the same article, hunger relief organization Second Harvest reports that food distribution in the area has already increased by 34 percent in the last six months.

In addition to debating cuts to food stamps, members of the committee must also make choices about international food aid. Beckmann says we must hold members of Congress accountable for their actions. “Any policies that create additional poverty among the working poor, or further impoverish hungry people around the world, are reprehensible,” Beckmann wrote in the Huffington Post piece.

On Friday, the first day of a month in which we celebrate bounty with a national feast, it is disheartening to think that some Americans will be have much less food on their tables when they gather to give thanks this year. 

Act Now: SNAP and Food Aid at Risk

Families that receives food stamps (SNAP) will see their benefits reduced starting this Friday. Email or call 1-800-826-3688 and tell your members of Congress to protect SNAP and improve international food aid. Photo: DeEtte Peck uses her EBT card to purchase food in Portland, Ore. (Brian Duss)

By Eric Mitchell

This week, every family that receives food stamp benefits will see its grocery budget shrink! In 2010, Congress voted twice to cut food stamps (also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP) in order to pay for other priorities.  As a result, $11 billion in SNAP cuts will go into effect this Friday. For a family of four, this means a loss of up to $36 a month.

As millions of families are bracing for these automatic benefit cuts, members of the House and Senate meet today to finalize a farm bill that will impact vital anti-hunger programs—specifically SNAP and international food aid. 

We need your help. The voices of your members of Congress are critical in our efforts to end hunger by protecting and strengthening SNAP and improving international food aid.

Call or email your members of Congress today! Ask them to:

  1. Oppose cuts and harmful changes to SNAP. The House-passed farm bill cut SNAP by $39 billion, which could kick nearly 4 million people off the program and reduce benefits for thousands more. SNAP has already been cut by $11 billion, reducing every household’s monthly benefit and resulting in millions of lost meals. SNAP families cannot afford any cuts in the farm bill.
  2. Support the Senate-passed farm bill’s (S.954) international food aid provisions. These provisions will increase the flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and efficiency of food aid so that we can respond better to the complex challenges of global hunger and malnutrition today.

Forty-nine million Americans live at risk of hunger, and more than 1 billion people around the world live in extreme poverty. SNAP and international food aid programs must be protected in the farm bill. Email or call your member of Congress at 800-826-3688 today!

 Thank you for your advocacy.

Eric Mitchell is director of government relations at Bread for the World.

SNAP, Non-Profit Supermarket Work in Tandem to Combat Hunger

 

Last month, residents of Chester, Pa., welcomed Fare & Square, the nation's first nonprofit grocery store. Fare & Square also has the distinction of being the city's only grocery store. Chester, a city about 20 miles southwest of Philadelphia, is a U.S. Department of Agriculture-designated food desert that lost its last supermarket more than 12 years ago.

Proximity to a grocery store can force shoppers to make food purchases based on ease of transport rather than taste, nutritional value, or cost. "To bring a gallon of milk is a hardship if you have to use two buses to get home," says Bill Clark, executive director of Philabundance, in the Moyers and Company video above. Philabundance is the anti-hunger non-profit organization behind the non-profit market model.

So far, as the report explains, sixty percent of the families in Chester have signed up for a Fare & Square membership, which allows those with annual incomes equal to or less than twice the federal poverty level to receive store credit each time they shop. And sixty percent of the store's shoppers are using SNAP benefits to pay for their food. Fare & Square recognizes the importance of SNAP and similar programs in feeding the people of Chester—city residents can receive help signing up for benefits at the store.

Bread for the World activist Tara Marks once said that she didn't live in a food desert, but a "food mirage"—she was surrounded by plenty, but didn't have enough money to buy food. SNAP changed that for her. Putting a grocery store in a food desert is a huge step toward improving food accessibility, but nutrition assistance programs are critical in connecting hungry people with that food.

To learn more about food deserts, and the Fare & Square model, watch the video below, or read the full Moyers & Company report here. To find out more about what you can do to help protect SNAP, which is being debated as part of congressional farm bill negotiations that begin this week, click here or contact your Bread for the World regional organizer.

Charting the Importance of SNAP

24_bags_infographic_500px

On Friday, all households receiving SNAP (formerly food stamps) will see a reduction in their benefits, as a temporary SNAP increase included in American Recover and Reinvestment Act of 2009, more commonly known as the stimulus act, ends. Some families will see their benefits drop by as much as $36 per month.

On Wednesday, the House and Senate began negotiations around the farm bill. The two chambers must reconcile their respective versions of the legislation, including a huge difference in proposed cuts to SNAP: the Senate version of the bill cuts $4 billion from the program over 10 years, while the House version cuts $39 billion.

It's a critical time for SNAP and the 47 million Americans who rely on this vital program.

SNAP is the our nation's first line of defense against hunger. We know that any cuts to SNAP would make it more difficult for struggling families to put food on the table. Churches and charities, for all they do, can't make up the difference: one in 24 bags of food assistance comes from a charitable organization, and federal nutrition programs provide the rest, as the above graphic shows. 

If you'd like more visual proof of SNAP's importance, check out this series of infographics, from the Food and Environmental Reporting Network and Mother Jones, that illustrate the program's broad economic and public health benefits. If you have a member of Congress on the committee that is negotiating the farm bill, please ask him or her to work to protect SNAP and ensure that hungry people aren’t harmed in any final legislation. Find out if either of your senators or your representative is on the committee here.

SNAPgraphic1

 

  Food-stamps-05

Who’s Working on the Farm Bill?

Barbie Screen Shot
Nearly 16 million children lived in food=insecure households in 2012.  SNAP (formerly food stamps) helps keep hunger at bay and is the nation's number-one defense against hunger (Movie still from A Place at the Table, courtesy of Participant Media).

The farm bill process is starting to move again. Now that both chambers have passed their versions, the conference process – by which the House and Senate try to reconcile the bills into a single piece of legislation – is expected to begin with opening statements on Oct. 30.

As part of the 2013 Offering of Letters, Bread members have been advocating for protection of SNAP funding and asking for common-sense reforms to food aid. There is a vast difference between the Senate and the House bills, so negotiations will be difficult.  As a reminder, the Senate passed a bill with a $4.1 billion cut to SNAP over 10 years, but did include needed improvements to food aid. The House bill, on the other hand, included a nearly $40 billion cut to SNAP over 10 years and a $2.5 billion cut to international food aid.

Nearly 49 million American families live in food-insecure households. In just nine days, participants in the SNAP program, which helps provide food to those struggling families, will begin to see a reduction in their benefits.  Making additional cuts to SNAP  as we continue to rebound from tough economic times would be disastrous. Churches and charities cannot replace such a reduction in the safety net. 

The World Food Program reports that poor nutrition causes nearly half (45 percent) of deaths in children under five — 3.1 million children each year. Common-sense reforms to food aid as part of the Senate version of the farm bill will help programs target nutrition to vulnerable populations with greater efficiency.  More than 50 bipartisan members of the House have urged support of the reforms.

Now is the time for faithful advocates to again add their voice.  If one of the conferees listed below is your Senator or Representative, call or email them, write letters to the editor and use social media to make your message public.  Contact your regional organizer for more ways you can impact the final bill.

Sample tweet: Senator @StabenowPress, I ask you to pass a #farmbill with #NoSNAPcuts and #fixfoodaid

Sample Facebook status update:  A farm bill must not increase hunger. I’m urging my Senator @Debbie Stabenow to protect SNAP in the farm bill and include common-sense reforms to food aid.

Senate Farm Bill Conferees

State

Senator

Twitter

Phone

Michigan

Debbie Stabenow

@StabenowPress

(202) 224-4822

Vermont

Patrick Leahy

@SenatorLeahy

(202) 224-4242

Iowa

Tom Harkin

@SenatorHarkin

(202) 224-3254

Montana

Max Baucus

@MaxBaucus

(202) 224-2651

Ohio

Sherrod Brown

@SenSherrodBrown

(202) 224-2315

Minnesota

Amy Klobuchar

@amyklobuchar

(202) 224-3244

Colorado

Michael Bennet

@SenBennetCO

(202) 224-5852

Mississippi

Thad Chochran

@SenThadCochran

(202) 224-5054

Kansas

Pat Roberts

@SenPatRoberts

(202) 224-4774

Georgia

Saxby Chambliss

@SaxbyChambliss

(202) 224-3521

Arkansas

John Boozman

@JohnBoozman

(202) 224-4843

North Dakota

John Hoeven

@SenJohnHoeven

(202) 224-2551

*To tag your member of Congress on Facebook, you must first like their page. To find their page, click on the hyperlink in their name.

House Farm Bill Conferees

State/District

Representative

Twitter

Phone

Oklahoma -03

Frank Lucas

@RepFrankLucas

(202) 225-5565

Iowa - 04

Steve King

@SteveKingIA

(202) 225-4426

Texas -19

Randy Neugebauer

@RandyNeugebauer

(202) 225-4005

Alabama - 03

Mike Rogers

@RepMikeRogersAL

(202) 225-3261

Texas -11

K. Michael Conaway

@ConawayTX11

(202) 225-3605

Pennsylvania- 05

Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson

@CongressmanGT

(202) 225-5121

Georgia - 08

Austin Scott

@AustinScottGA08

(202) 225-6531

Arkansas - 01

Rick Crawford

@RepRickCrawford

(202) 225-4076

Alabama – 02

Martha Roby

@RepMarthaRoby

(202) 225-2901

South Dakota - AL

Kristi Noem

@RepKristiNoem

(202) 225-2801

California - 10

Jeff Denham

@RepJeffDenham

(202) 225-4540

Illinois - 13

Rodney Davis

@RodneyDavis

(202) 225.2371

Florida - 02

Steve Southerland

@Rep_Southerland

(202) 225-5235

California - 39

Ed Royce

@RepEdRoyce

(202) 225-4111

Pennsylvania - 10

Tom Marino

@RepTomMarino

(202) 225-3731

Michigan - 04

Dave Camp

@RepDaveCamp

(202) 225-3561

Texas - 03

Sam Johnson

@SamsPressShop

(202) 225-3561

Minnesota - 07

Collin Peterson

No account

(202) 225-2165

North Carolina -07

Mike McIntyre

@RepMikeMcIntyre

(202) 225-2731

California - 16

Jim Costa

@RepJimCosta

(202) 225-3341

Minnesota - 01

Tim Walz

@RepTimWalz

(202) 225-2472

Oregon – 05

Kurt Schrader

@RepSchrader

(202) 225-5711

Massachusetts - 02

Jim McGovern

@RepMcGovern

(202) 225-6101

Washington - 01

Suzan DelBene

@RepDelBene

(202) 225-6311

California – 35

Gloria Negrete

@RepMcLeod

(202) 225-6161

Texas - 34

Filemon Vela

@RepFilemonVela

(202) 225-9901

Ohio - 11

Marcia Fudge

@RepMarciaFudge

(202) 225-7032

New York - 16

Eliot Engel

@RepEliotEngel

(202) 225-2464

Michigan - 09

Sandy Levin

@repsandylevin

(202) 225-4961

*To tag your member of Congress on Facebook, you must first like their page. To find their page, click on the hyperlink in their name.

Can 26 Members of Congress Help End 15 Days of Misery?

Hunger LineIt’s been a miserable 15 days for those Americans who are facing uncertainty and hardship because of an avoidable government shutdown.

The latest news reports indicate that the Senate has crafted a bipartisan extension of the debt ceiling through February, and a continuing resolution that would fund the government through mid-January and end the current shutdown. The proposal, if adopted, would need to pass both chambers and be signed by the president. Reporters are noting that congressional leaders are feeling pressure from an increasingly vocal group of Republicans in the House, which is a factor in these new developments.

Each day the shutdown continues more harm is done—especially to vulnerable populations. Each day makes it that much more difficult for low-income families to rebound. Each day, Main Street loses an estimated $160 million in economic activity. Each day of the shutdown is unacceptable. 

And it is going to get much worse if Oct. 17 comes and goes and Congress doesn’t act to ensure that the United States can pay its bills. 

Failure to raise the debt ceiling would likely send the country into a recession deeper than 2008’s, according to a Treasury Department report. The lesson from the last recession is clear—during times of financial crisis, the most vulnerable suffer and the ranks of the hungry grow. As a result of the last recession, SNAP participation increased—from 26 to 47 million in 8 years. A debt-ceiling default would prove disastrous for the crucial programs that kept hunger a bay and those who need them. The administration could be forced to delay or suspend billions of dollars in benefits for social security, SNAP, and other vital safety net programs.  The U.S. economy is just starting to recover from a period of low employment and high poverty and cannot absorb yet another crushing blow.

The Gospel reminds us again and again that we are to care for the widow, the orphan, and the alien. We are told we see Jesus when we feed the hungry. Advocacy is a witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Even if you’ve already called your members of Congress about these issues, call again (1-800-826-3688), send an email, and tell your friends to call, too. We cannot stop until this situation is resolved in a responsible way.

If you are a resident of one of the states or districts listed below, your faithful advocacy around these issues is especially important. We have identified the following members of the House of Representatives who may be particularly influential in ending the shutdown and raising the debt ceiling. These members will play a critical role in months to come as Congress works to move beyond the current impasse and craft a final budget. January must not become a repeat of the last 15 days. Support and encouragement from constituents could make the difference. Call them today or, for those engaged in social media, tag them on your Facebook page or in a tweet.  Make sure they hear your story and understand that there is a human cost to inaction. 

State (district) 

Representative

Twitter

Phone number

Alaska – at large

Rep. Don Young

@repdonyoung

(202) 225-5765

Arkansas – 02

Rep. Tim Griffin

@RepTimGriffin

(202) 225-2506

California - 22

Rep. Devin Nunes

@Rep_DevinNunes

(202) 225-2523

Florida - 25

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart

@MarioDB

(202) 225-4211

Florida – 15

Rep. Dennis Ross

@RepDennisRoss

(202) 225-1252

Florida – 13

Rep. Bill Young

n/a

(202) 225-5961

Idaho – 02

Rep. Mike Simpson

@CongMikeSimpson

(202) 225-5531

Illinois – 13

Rep. Rodney Davis

@RodneyDavis

(202) 225-2371

Minnesota – 03

Rep. Erik Paulsen

@RepErikPaulsen

(202) 225-2871

New Jersey – 02

Rep. Frank LaBiondo

@RepLoBiondo

(202) 225-6572

New Jersey – 03

Rep. John Runyan

@RepJonRunyan

(202) 225-4765

New Jersey – 07

Rep. Leonard Lance

@RepLanceNJ7

(202) 225-5361

New York  -02

Rep. Peter King

@RepPeteKing

(202) 225-7896

New York – 11

Rep. Michael Grimm

@repmichaelgrimm

(202) 225-3371

New York – 22

Rep. Richard Hanna

@RepRichardHanna

(202) 225-3665

Oklahoma -04

Rep. Tom Cole

@tomcoleok04

(202) 225-6165

Pennsylvania - 06

Rep. Jim Gerlach

@JimGerlach

(202) 225-4315

Pennsylvania – 07

Rep. Pat Meehan

@RepMeehan

(202) 225-2011

Pennsylvania – 08

Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick

@RepFitzpatrick

(202) 225-4276

Pennsylvania – 11

Rep. Lou Barletta

@RepLouBarletta

(202) 225-6511

Pennsylvania – 15

Rep. Charlie Dent

@DentPressShop

(202) 225-6411

Virginia – 01

Rep. Rob Wittman

@RobWittman

(202) 225-4261

Virginia – 02

Rep. Scott Rigell

@RepScottRigell

(202) 225-4215

Virginia – 04

Rep. Randy Forbes

@Randy_Forbes

(202) 225-6365

Virginia – 10

Rep. Frank Wolf

@RepWOLFPress

(202) 225-5136

Washington – 08

Rep. Dave Reichert

@davereichert

(202) 225-7761

*To tag a member on your Facebook wall, you must first like their page.

Photo:  At Our Daily Bread Employment Center in Baltimore, Md., people line up for the Hot Meal Program, 2010. (Jim Stipe)

Keep the Conversation Going: A Place at the Table

Kaela and friends
Kaela Volkmer (middle) is a member of St. Wenceslaus Catholic parish in Omaha, Neb. She is pictured here with St. Wenceslaus staff. (Photo courtesy of Kaela Volkmer)

By Kaela Volkmer

On Sept. 19, as members of the House of Representatives were debating how much funding to cut from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps), I had the good fortune to be in a place of positive energy, care, concern, and compassion for our hungry and vulnerable neighbors. In Omaha, Neb., about 300 concerned citizens gathered at Aksarben Cinema for a special free screening of A Place at the Table, a powerful new documentary related to hunger, health, and poverty. 

Through support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Active Voice, Hunger Free Heartland, whose mission is to end childhood hunger and obesity in our greater community, was able to mobilize an amazing team of coalition partners to host a wonderful event.  The evening included a resource fair, a reception, and a thought-provoking panel discussion following the viewing of this critically-acclaimed film. 

As a Bread for the World Hunger Justice Leader, I was humbled and privileged to be part of this collaborative effort to keep the conversation going in our community about hunger, health and public policy. Here are some of the highlights of the event:

  • Sue Arment, director of Hunger Free Heartland, pulled together and guided a strong and resourceful planning team comprised of various community partners for the event.
  • Andrea Barstow, manager of Aksarben Cinema, graciously donated the theater and reception space for our gathering.
  • Lucy Wilson of Edible Omaha moderated our panel, and her personal story of what it felt like being a child who knew the pangs of hunger touched our hearts and inspired us.
  • Our expert panel included Lauren and John Levy of the Heart Ministry Center, John Bailey from the Center for Rural Affairs, Sen. Sara Howard, and Craig Howell from United Methodist Ministries. The panelists helped us to reflect on different aspects of the film, from personal experiences to public policy considerations, and they helped us think about steps we can take to be part of the solution.
  • Whole Foods donated an amazing amount of delicious and healthy food for the public reception. 
  • More than 15 community organizations were represented at the resource fair before and after the film, offering information about how citizens can get involved in concrete actions related to hunger and poverty issues in our community.

It truly was an inspiring evening that brought us together to learn, to share, and to talk about the role we all share in contributing to the multi-faceted solutions that will bring about an end to hunger in our community.

While at the event, I received the message confirming that the House of Representatives had just voted to cut an unthinkable $39 billion from SNAP.  I took a deep breath and felt a deep sadness and sorrow in my heart, knowing that such actions will only increase poverty, hunger, and suffering in our state and in our nation. I thought about the nearly 4 million food insecure people in our country who would lose nutrition assistance under this scenario, including 2 million low-income working families and seniors. And then I looked up at the hundreds of people who showed up for the screening and the staffers from organizations who are working tirelessly with and for our most vulnerable neighbors. My heart swelled with gratitude for their presence, for their willingness to ask questions and find solutions to the scandal of hunger and deprivation that confronts more than 49 million people in our country.

As a Bread for the World Hunger Justice leader and advocate for poor and hungry people, I am deeply grateful to have been part of this event and to stand together with others who are working to create a place at the table for all people.

Kaela Volkmer is a 2012 Hunger Justice Leader who lives in Omaha, Neb.

Stay Connected

Bread for the World