To All Those Interested in Food and Justice...
A (usually) weekly update on food issues, promoting access to sufficient, affordable, healthy food—with a focus on campaigns you can become active in!
June 30th, 2017
1. Honoring Sister Alice Marie
LA’s anti hunger community was saddened to learn of the passing last Friday of Sister Alice Marie Quinn, who operated St. Vincent’s Meals on Wheels for 40 years. “Sister Sam” was beloved by thousands. She never let any obstacle prevent her from feeding the poor and needy in LA, and has been instrumental in assisting other LA organizations like Project Chicken Soup and L.A. Kitchen, in achieving their missions. She was 82 years old. Among the many accolades she received for her superhuman efforts , she was named “Woman of the Year” in 1988 by the state of California, and in 2013, the Los Angeles City Council declared the day before Thanksgiving as St. Vincent Meals on Wheels Day. (She was also one of the first recipients of Hunger Action LA’s annual awards back in 2012.) We will all miss her, and encourage everyone to honor her memory by doubling down on efforts to protect seniors and people with disabilities with basic needs---especially in these times when the poor and needy don’t serve political or financial agendas
(St. Vincent Meals on Wheels is a ministry of the Daughters of Charity, an order of nuns dedicated to the poor.)
Obituary in LA Times:
2. Congress Likely Mulling Big Cuts to SNAP
From consultant sources: “On Wednesday, the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies adopted the FY 2018 Agriculture Appropriations bill. “. Bear in mind that what this subcommittee adopted is subject to further amendments and changes by the full U.S. Appropriations Committee: so what you see written below as adopted in the bill is not likely to be the final score.
Continuing from sources: “ The Agriculture and Energy and Water appropriations bills will likely be taken up by the Committee on Appropriations upon the lawmakers' return after the July 4th Congressional recess.Chairwoman Diane Black (R-Tennessee) is attempting to trim the U.S. debt, nearing $20 trillion by cutting mandatory spending by $200 billion over 10 years. To achieve her goal, Black needs an additional $50 billion in cuts from mandatory programs overseen by reluctant committee chairmen.
“ Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX), US House Committee on Agriculture and Chairwoman Black are said to have negotiated a deal yesterday, but no details have surfaced. At stake are likely cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps). It remains uncertain how deep the cuts will be to SNAP and if those cuts will impact the coalition of (more rural) commodity groups and (more urban) food & nutrition groups that will be needed for the successful passage of the 2018 Farm Bill later this year and into 2018.”
In total, the bill allows for $144.9 billion in both discretionary and mandatory funding - $4.6 billion above the President's budget request and $8.5 billion below the fiscal year 2017 enacted level. The discretionary funding provided by the bill is $20 billion, $876 million below the fiscal year 2017 enacted level.
$73.6 billion in required mandatory spending is provided for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This is $4.87 billion below last year's level and $2.6 million below the President's budget request and mainly due to declining enrollment and decreasing food costs.
“Congressional appropriators rejected the Trump Administration proposed elimination of the Food for Peace Program and McGovern-Dole International Food for Education & Child Nutrition programs by funding them with $1.4 billion and $185 million, respectively.” This is interesting given the control of the committee by Republicans.
3. Tell Congress No Cuts to SNAP!
Our colleagues at the Alameda County Community Food Bank have prepared an excellent statewide advocacy alert that you can simply click to send a letter to Congress. See below and follow the link!
With 1 out of 8 Californians suffering from food insecurity, our neighbors need SNAP/CalFresh now more than ever. Today in Alameda County, more than 112,000 people depend on SNAP/CalFresh, more than half of them children.
Stand up for our neighbors who need SNAP/CalFresh and tell our elected officials that these budget proposals are cruel and unjust.
This essential program kept 806,000 Californians out of poverty, including 417,000 children, each year during the last recession. As anti-hunger advocates, let's make sure our elected officials pass a budget that allows this success to continue, and moves toward strengthening our anti-hunger programs in the future.
(Thanks to Shanti Prasad and Alameda County Community Food Bank)