Following House Vote to Cut $40 Billion from Food Stamp Program, Food Bank For New York City Launches National Online Resource and Action Center to Fight Cuts
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For Immediate Release
September 23, 2013
FOLLOWING HOUSE VOTE TO CUT $40 BILLION FROM FOOD STAMP PROGRAM, FOOD BANK FOR NEW YORK CITY LAUNCHES NATIONAL ONLINE RESOURCE AND ACTION CENTER TO FIGHT CUTS
Food Bank’s HungerCliff.org Demonstrates What’s At Stake if Food Stamps Cuts are Finalized; Allows Visitors to Take Coordinated Social Media Action to Send Message to Congress
47 million Americans Rely on Food Stamps to Stave Off Hunger
September 23, 2013 – New York, NY – Food Bank For New York City, the city’s major hunger relief organization and the country’s largest food bank, has launched a national online resource and action center, HungerCliff.org, in response to the September 19th House vote to cut $40 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) through the Farm Bill.
The Farm Bill, negotiated by Congress every five years, sets policy and funding for agricultural programs as well as critical components of the nation’s safety net. The website encourages individuals and organizations to learn about what’s at stake if food stamp benefits are cut, and asks individuals to send a Thunderclap social media message to Congress that these cuts are unacceptable.
HungerCliff.org details how representatives in Washington are targeting SNAP, and putting the national anti-hunger safety net under the greatest threat in decades. SNAP is the country’s first line of defense against hunger, with more than 47 million Americans – including 1.9 million in New York City – relying on SNAP to keep food on the table. In 2011, SNAP kept 4.7 million Americans out of poverty, including 2.1 million children.
The nutrition portion of the Farm Bill, which was passed by the House on September 19th, contains $40 billion dollars in cuts to SNAP. These cuts come on top of cuts to SNAP benefits that will take effect on November 1. New York City alone will lose more than $225 million a year in food purchases, which is money that supports jobs in our retail food sector and throughout the economy. This equates to a loss of 76 million meals over a year, more food than Food Bank For New York City – the largest food bank in the country with a robust and experienced network of 1,000 charities – distributes annually.
Through a scrolling graphic, HungerCliff.org illustrates what will happen when Congress cuts SNAP benefits. It contains a timeline of Congressional decision points, clears up common myths about the food stamps program, and outlines which populations stand to lose under cuts to food stamps – the working poor, women and children, seniors, the disabled, in addition to the American economy as a whole. Every dollar in SNAP benefits generates $1.73 in economic development. Those dollars will be lost.
In addition, the website allows visitors to act now by joining the social media Thunderclap to send a loud, coordinated message to Congress on October 16th. Thunderclap allows people to sign up to post on Facebook and Twitter – all at the same time, to achieve maximum results.
“Hungercliff.org offers everyone an opportunity to get educated and get active in the fight to save SNAP for the millions of Americans who rely on it,” said Triada Stampas, Senior Director of Government Relations for Food Bank For New York City. “It’s another tool in our arsenal that allows us to send a clear message to Congress: the Farm Bill must protect our vital anti-hunger resources. No cuts are acceptable.”
Earlier this month, Food Bank For New York City held an Anti-Hunger Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. to meet with members of the New York Congressional Delegation about Farm Bill priorities.
To further raise awareness of the issue and support for the 1.5 million New Yorkers who rely on Food Bank For New York City and its citywide network of charities, Food Bank recently launched its annual ”Go Orange” campaign during September’s Hunger Action Month. Orange is the color of hunger awareness. The multi-pronged effort rallies and mobilizes corporations, restaurants, supermarkets, retailers, volunteers, celebrities, and the public to fight hunger in New York City. For more information, visit GoOrange.org.
About Food Bank For New York City
Food Bank For New York City recognizes 30 years as the city’s major hunger-relief organization working to end food poverty throughout the five boroughs. As the city’s hub for integrated food poverty assistance, Food Bank tackles the hunger issue on three fronts — food distribution, income support and nutrition education — all strategically guided by its research. Through its network of community-based member programs citywide, Food Bank helps provide 400,000 free meals a day for New Yorkers in need. Food Bank’s hands-on nutrition education program in the public schools reaches thousands of children, teens and adults. Income support services including food stamps, free tax assistance for the working poor and the Earned Income Tax Credit put millions of dollars back in the pockets of low-income New Yorkers, helping them to achieve greater dignity and independence. Learn how you can help at foodbanknyc.org.