National Legislative Summary:
There are two budgets under debate right now, one is the FY2011 Continuing Resolution - or “CR” - that covers the government’s operating expenses March through September of 2011. If a CR isn’t passed, the government must shut down. The other up for debate is the 2012 budget, relating to next year’s expenses.
The Food Banking network is currently focused on the FY2011 CR. Among the cuts, the House has approved cutting $20 million in funding to the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, or CSFP, which provides boxes of nutritious food to about 600,000 people, most of whom are low-income seniors. Individuals who qualify can have incomes of no more than about $14,000 a year. The cut means that about 80,000 people - 5,500 in Texas - will be eliminated from the program, which serves our nations' most at-risk population - the impoverished elderly.
Eliminating a single box of food each month may not seem like a significant loss, but not if you are one of the seniors who rely on that box of food to make the difference between eating three square meals a day or going hungry.
Please direct your calls and letters to Senators Cornyn and Hutchison for the next two weeks.
The CR made the following cuts to anti-hunger programs:
$747 million cut from WIC ( - 10%) (Women, Infants and Children program)
$585 million cut from unspent USDA funds
$305 million cut from Community Services Block Grants ( - 44%)(in Texas, this funds Community Action Agencies)
$98 million cut from FEMA/EFSP ( - 50%) (Emergency Food and Shelter Program)
$20 million cut from CSFP ( - 12%) (Commodities program that provides food packages to seniors effecting 5,500 in Texas)
$6 million cut from TEFAP infrastructure grants ( - 100%) (Infrastructure grants help with building capacity to improve emergency food distribution.)
$5 million cut from Hunger-Free Communities grants ( - 100%)
Total, that’s over 1.7 BILLION in cuts for hunger relief.
Remember: These cuts will affect the coming 2012 budget discussions too, so your voice is vital to the future of the Food Bank!
ACTION ITEM: We are asking you to call your Senators and tell them that we cannot balance our budget while leaving our children, the elderly and working poor unprotected. Keep the Food Safety Net in place that helps our national food banking system!
Call this toll-free number and you will be automatically sent to your Senator’s office: 877-698-8228