Friday, August 20, 2010

Take Action for a Healthier Tennessee!

I received the Following from Community Food Advocates:


The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (“SNAP,” also known as “Food Stamps”) helps over a million Tennesseans purchase food for their families each month. SNAP is the nation’s number one “safety net” program for families facing food insecurity.

We need YOU to contact your Member of Congress about proposed cuts to SNAP.

Here are the facts:
  • While the unemployment rate in Tennessee and across the country has hovered around 10%, record numbers of people have turned to SNAP for the first time.
  • The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 provided extra support for SNAP recipients by boosting SNAP allotments – adding food to Tennessee tables and over $100 million to Tennessee’s economy each month.
  • The FMAP (Medicaid)/jobs bill recently passed reduced SNAP benefits by $11.9 billion and ends the Economic Recovery Act's (ARRA) SNAP monthly benefits increase in April 2014 rather than in 2018 as originally projected. 
  • On top of the SNAP cut in the FMAP bill, the Senate also passed its version of Child Nutrition Reauthorization (S. 3307), which further reduces SNAP benefits, to generate $2.2 billion to pay for this bill. It does this by moving the SNAP benefits increase termination date forward to November 2013.
We need to tell Congress that funding any program priorities - no matter how meritorious - by cutting SNAP benefits is unacceptable.

The House Child Nutrition bill, H.R. 5504, must pass without using SNAP benefits as a "pay for."  H.R. 5504 provides critical support for low-income children by improving their access to the nutritious food they need - whether in school, in out-of-school time programs, or in child care - while also improving the nutritional quality of those meals.  Passing H.R. 5504 this year will ensure significant movement towards the goals of ending child hunger by 2015 and dramatically reducing childhood obesity.  While passage of this bill is a top priority for the anti-hunger community, it is unacceptable to finance the bill through cuts to SNAP benefits.  
How Can You Take Action?
  •  Schedule Site Visits and District Appointments. Members of Congress are home - summer recess extends till September 13th - and Members are anxious to meet with constituent groups, especially in an election year.  Scheduling a site visit at a school, agency or out-of-school time program is a great way for Members to see the great activities that include the nutrition programs.  Or schedule a time to meet with your Member in person or through a "community conference call."
  • Paper Plate Campaign. Use FRAC's food hardship data to highlight the need in your community (congressional district) for a strong child nutrition bill that doesn't cut SNAP benefits. While members are home, you can deliver or mail the plates to the district office closest to you. This is a great opportunity for a meeting or a media event. Can't get to an office? Decorate a plate and take a picture of it. You can post the picture online and send it to your Member's office.
Community Food Advocates
415 Fourth Ave South, Unit B | Nashville, TN 37201
Cassi Johnson, Executive Director
615-385-2286 / /

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