There will be 'No Thanks' This Thanksgiving for the Approximately 1.3 Million New Yorkers Struggling with Hunger as Senate Fails to Pass Farm Bill
Inventory Dwindles at Food Bank For New York City...Soup Kitchens & Food Pantries Face Holiday Closings
New York, NY, November 16, 2007 — As many New Yorkers are preparing Thanksgiving menus, the Senate adjourned on Friday after stalling debate on a Farm Bill that could bring much needed relief to the approximately 1.3 million New Yorkers who rely on the Food Bank For New York City's network of emergency food programs throughout the five boroughs. And while the Senate enjoys the Thanksgiving holiday, inventories at the Food Bank have dwindled to an all-time low. The result is that soup kitchens and food pantries face closing their doors for the holiday, leaving many low-income families with little or no resources with which to feed their families.
The Food Bank is suffering as a result of a more than 50 percent decline in emergency food from a federal food aid program (TEFAP) in recent years. Strong agricultural markets have led to drastic reductions in food purchased and distributed by the Federal government.
"Over the past few years, the Food Bank has experienced a steady decline in the value of food provided by the federal government. The reduction of food received by the Food Bank has declined approximately12 million pounds since 2004, while the number of people coming to our programs has increased approximately 24 percent during the same period. We need a strong nutrition title in the Farm Bill and we need it passed this year," said Dr. Lucy Cabrera, President and CEO of the Food Bank For New York City.
The House of Representatives passed its version of a Farm Bill in July that would provide more than $4 billion in new investment in federal nutrition programs and boost the currently sparse supply of commodities available through the nation's charitable food distribution system. Specifically, it would raise current levels of mandatory support for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) to $250 million annually and index the amount for inflation. The Senate is expected to resume debate on its version of the bill following the current Thanksgiving recess.
However, New Yorkers need support now! Unable to rely on government funded emergency food, individual donations are critical to the Food Bank's ability to provide holiday meals this season. Please help! Just $5 can provide 25 meals! Log on to www.foodbanknyc.org and donate today!
And take action by calling Senators Clinton and Schumer:
Senator Clinton: 212-688-6262
Senator Schumer: 212-486-4430
*Use our suggested script when calling.