Hands Off SNAP!

February 11, 2019

  1. Tell the Trump Administration It’s Unacceptable to Take Food Away from Struggling Workers and Families: Due April 2
  2. Killing Ourselves to Live Part One:
    a. Trump Admin Rolls Back Payday Lender Restrictions
    b. Sign the Petition for One Fair Wage for Restaurant Workers
  3. Killing Ourselves to Live Part Two:
    a. Insect Extinction Threatens Human Civilization
    b. Cancers Related to Obesity Rise Among Younger People
  4. Groups Giving Food in Public Must Register and Pay Fee Under New Law

Tell the Trump Administration It’s Unacceptable to Take Food Away from Struggling Workers and Families: Due April 2

(Thanks to Food Research and Action Center, Feeding America, and the Center for American Progress for this alert)

Food assistance is at risk—again. The Trump administration wants to make the work requirements for SNAP (food stamps) much tougher so that they can cut more people from the program.

Federal law already requires that states limit SNAP eligibility to just three months out of every three years for unemployed and underemployed adults without dependent children unless they can document 20 hours of work a week

Now the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has proposed to make those time limits even harsher. USDA’s proposed rule would undercut states’ ability to waive these harsh time limits in many areas where there are too few jobs. By USDA’s own estimates its proposal would eliminate SNAP benefits for an additional 755,000 adults and cut SNAP benefits on a ten year basis by $15 billion.

We need your help! We need to generate lots of comments making clear that these cuts would vastly increase food insecurity in America.

Comments must be submitted by Tuesday, April 2nd at 11:59PM —Here’s how to take action:

  • Sign your comment on at this site: https://handsoffsnap.org/
    (Thanks to The Center for American Progress)
  • Make sure to personalize your comment—don’t just use the example that is there
  • The administration must respond to every comment, and every point made in the comment. Make a lot of points as to why it’s bad to make people go hungry if they can only find part time work (under the required 20 hours), or if they can’t find jobs in areas of high unemployment, or any other reason that comes from your own experience
  • Encourage others to submit comments.
  • You can submit comments on your own behalf and also on the behalf of an organization.

Killing Ourselves to Live Part One:

(With a nod to Ozzy, Tony, Geezer and Bill)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gStRVQEArVE

Trump Admin Makes Easier for Payday Lenders to Gouge People

The core cause of hunger in the United States is poverty. 13 million people work in America’s restaurant industry, and it’s estimated that 52% of the fast food workers serving up meals to Americans like Trump need government assistance to get by:

The core cause of hunger in the United States is poverty. 13 million people work in America’s restaurant industry, and it’s estimated that 52% of the fast food workers serving up meals to Americans like Trump need government assistance to get by:

Over Half of Fast Food Workers Need Food Assistance

And 10 to 12 million people, likely including many of those workers, use payday loans during the year.

If working people working at fast food places still need food assistance, and if 12 million working Americans need payday loans, then in what way is work a solution to help people “get off the food stamp rolls”? For many people, it clearly isn’t. Here are two pieces of news that impact people hovering around the poverty line:

On Wednesday (Feb 6), the federal government’s consumer finance watchdog revealed plans to roll back Obama-era restrictions on payday lenders, which disproportionately target low-income borrowers and offer high-interest loans.
Basically, they are rescinding the rule that requires that the lenders assess if a prospective borrower is actually able to pay back the loan. The result will be that lenders will loan to desperately needy people who are unable to pay back, and trap them into a long term debt cycle. This change is being made in the name of “access to credit and competition”. Under Donald Trump, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has in reality become the “Corporate Finance Protection Bureau”. People are paying back rates of 950% on some of these payday loans.

Trump Admin Rolls Back Payday Lender Restrictions

Sign the Petition for One Fair Wage for Restaurant Workers

Meanwhile the federal minimum wage for tipped workers is stuck for the last 28 years at $2.13. The Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC), which represents restaurant workers, reports that “Last week, the House Committee on Education and Labor began hearings for the Raise the Wage Act of 2019 — which would guarantee all workers One Fair Wage.” We can join them by signing the petition to raise that wage:

Say "no more!" to $2.13 with ROC by signing the petition!

More on the Restaurant Opportunities Center:
rocunited.org


Killing Ourselves to Live Part Two:

Insect Extinction Threatens Human Civilization

The Guardian reports that “The world’s insects are hurtling down the path to extinction, threatening a “catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems”, according to the first global scientific review. Unless we change our ways of producing food, insects as a whole will go down the path of extinction in a few decades,” they write.

If insect species losses cannot be halted, this will have catastrophic consequences for both the planet’s ecosystems and for the survival of mankind said Francisco Sánchez-Bayo, at the University of Sydney, Australia, who wrote the review with Kris Wyckhuys at the China Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Beijing “The main cause of the decline is agricultural intensification,” Sánchez-Bayo said. “That means the elimination of all trees and shrubs that normally surround the fields, so there are plain, bare fields that are treated with synthetic fertilisers and pesticides.”

Insect Extinction Threatens Human Civilization

Cancers Related to Obesity Rise Among Younger People

“The rates for some cancers linked to obesity are rising among young adults in the USA, said a study led by the American Cancer Society. The study published Sunday in the peer-reviewed journal The Lancet Public Health found rates rising for six of 12 cancers tied to obesity – colorectal, endometrial, gallbladder, kidney, multiple myeloma and pancreas – from 1995 to 2014”

“Dale Shepard, an oncologist with the Cleveland Clinic, said the study is a reminder patients and doctors should be more mindful of ways to prevent cancer. “We need to pay a lot more attention to obesity and controlling it and doing things like diet modification and exercise,” Shepard said. “We know that both of those can also reduce the incidence of cancer.”

Cancers Related to Obesity Rise Among Younger People


Groups Giving Food in Public Must Register and Pay Fee Under New Law

One of the most serious threats to food access from a policy viewpoint comes not from the Trump administration, but from a law passed in California in 2018 that is beginning to be implemented across the state at this time.

New Law Restricts Feeding of Homeless, Requires Registration

This law ostensibly is designed to create a legal path for charitable feeding of the public by nonprofit groups. Examples of this would be groups feeding the homeless where they are at, in the streets. Agencies or groups are required to register and pay a fee to their local county health officials, and in return will be permitted to serve meals that are either prepared in a certified kitchen, or are prepackaged food.

Many of the hundreds of charities and volunteer groups around the state don’t realize that what they’ve been doing is technically illegal, and this law is first of all going to call their attention to that fact. What will cause extreme dismay is the fact that even after paying a fee and registering, a church for example cannot make home-cooked food from scratch, unless their church kitchen happens to have gone through the expensive and rigorous process of being certified.

The many groups—Food Not Bombs, Monday Night Mission, and collections of neighbors who carry food out to the homeless, who are informal associations and not 501 c 3 nonprofit corporations will find little solace in the fact that they are outside the scope of this law—and therefore are subject, as they always have been, to being fined or having their operation shut down by the Health Department.

The bill, AB 2178, passed through the Senate and Assembly Health committees—therefore not subject to push-back commentary in Human Services committee, who might have looked at the chilling effect on those who are feeding the homeless. It was then signed by the Governor last summer.

Legislative Page on AB 2178
(See the 6/25/18 Bill Analysis in Senate Health)

Foodborne illness is a concern of public health, but so should be starvation and malnutrition among the homeless most particularly.

Already, if the bill’s backers were sincere anyway about attracting more groups to feed the homeless, it’s backfiring big time.

San Diego Charitable Food Group Shuts Down, Citing New Law

LA County Health officials have assured concerned hunger fighters that they won’t be driving around looking for operations to shut down. But verbal assurances don’t carry legal weight vs ink on paper of bills passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor. Counties haven’t been given the option whether to enforce the bill or not; it is state law.

Also, LA County may be reassuring people they won’t go after those feeding the homeless, but there are 57 other counties in California. And there’s strong documentation that these kinds of laws have been used in 75 jurisdictions around the United States to intimidate those helping the homeless, in the hopes that the homeless will cease to congregate in certain areas or will be chased away.

National Coalition for Homeless: Food Sharing

Report on Anti-Homeless Feeding Ordinances 2014

When you have heard of outbreaks of foodborne illness, it’s from for-profit people—who have presumably registered, paid fees and passed health inspections—think of the recent E. Coli in Spinach and certain fast food places who have had to recall their product or temporarily close due to foodborne pathogens.

The registration fee of $114 will cause groups to shut down. People will have the choice of either being law-abiding, and paying the fee, and then changing what they do—those cooking from scratch will have to buy prepackaged stuff.

We can certainly petition the county to waive the fee. We can try to modify the legislation. And we can challenge it on First Amendment grounds.

California will certainly be the laughingstock of other states, who will lampoon the “liberals” who essentially are taxing those who are helping the homeless.



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  • Wade Bucher
    commented 2019-02-18 03:36:09 -0800
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  • Hunger Action LA posted about News Feb 11, 2019 on Hunger Action LA's Facebook page 2019-02-11 17:17:17 -0800
    Trump: Hands Off SNAP! +Payday lenders / Fair wage petition / Insect extinction threatens all / Obesity cancers in young / Food givers pay fee
  • @HungerActionLA tweeted this page. 2019-02-11 17:17:12 -0800
    Trump: Hands Off SNAP! +Payday lenders / Fair wage petition / Insect extinction threatens all / Obesity cancers in young / Food givers pay fee http://www.hungeractionla.org/news_update_feb_11th_2019?recruiter_id=802

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