Monday, June 1, 2009

PathWays PA E-Newsletter: June 1, 2009

Support Needed for Adult Education and Family Literacy Programs!
The proposed budget would cut 29% of the state funding for Adult Education and Family Literacy programs.
To support these integral programs, please contact your local representatives to let them know that adult education and family literacy programs are seeing an increased demand for their services.
Sample message to legislators: “Adult education and family literacy are especially important during this recession to ensure that families have the opportunity to gain the education they need to support themselves. These services have been seeing an increased demand in recent months. Please restore funding to these programs.” Please include your own story as well!
For more information on this important issue please click here.

Medicaid as Cornerstone for Federal Health Reform Legislation
Medicaid has long provided a foundation of health care coverage for people with low incomes and special health needs. National health reform needs to strengthen and expand Medicaid to provide comprehensive coverage and high-quality, culturally appropriate care to children and people with low incomes or special health needs.
Unfortunately, there is a gap in the Congressional dialogue around Medicaid and legislators are not doing enough to protect Medicaid and may even change the current structure in a way that would provide less protections and benefits to low income and special needs consumers.
If you would like to join the PA Health Access Network (PHAN) in ensuring that the voice of all consumers is well-represented in each decision during this process please email Berry Friesen at bfriesen@pahealthaccess.org by June 2.
Plan to End 17-Year-Old School Meals Program
The Universal Feeding Program allows students in 200 Philadelphia schools (where at least 72% of children are impoverished) to get free meals.

The United States Department of Agriculture said it wants Philadelphia to switch to a new program that would cost Philadelphia $1 million more annually in paperwork and likely deprive meals from thousands of students.

Sample message to legislators: “The Universal Feeding Program provides nutritious food to low-income students, as it has for the past 17 years. Universal Feeding reduces the stigma attached to these meals while ensuring children have access to food during the school day. Please ensure this program remains available to our students.” Please include your own story as well!

Please contact your federal representatives to let them know how important this program is to the children who are part of it.

For more information about the Universal Feeding Program please read “Opposition to Ending School-Meals Program Grows” by Alfred Lubrano in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Standing Together for Health Care
The Pennsylvania Health Access Network (PHAN) is sponsoring an event to inform the public and legislators about important issues concerning health care.
WHERE: Harrisburg – the Capitol Rotunda
WHEN: June 2 at 1:00
PHAN is encouraging people to visit their legislators prior to the 1:00 press conference. For people coming from Philadelphia vans will leave from Love Park, 16th and JFK Blvd, at 7:00 am. To reserve a seat on the bus or for more information please contact Antoinette Kraus at 215-557-0822 or by emailing akraus@philaup.org.

Free Job Readiness Seminar

The Deloitte Job Readiness Seminar is intended to assist area residents who are trying to enter or re-enter the workforce.

WHERE: United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania
7 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia PA

WHEN: June 5 8:00 am – 3:30 pm

Topics covered at the seminar include:

• Resume skills
• Interview skills
• Reference etiquette
• Business etiquette
• Financial planning
To attend please contact Gerri Griffin at gerri@uwsepa.org. Space is limited so you must register to attend. Please RSVP by June 3.

Senate Bill 9 – Proof of Citizenship for Receipt of Public Benefits Act

In April of 2009, Pennsylvania's state Senate passed SB 9, or the Proof of Citizenship for Receipt of Public Benefits Act. With an estimated price tag of $21.6 million, the cost to implement the bill would far exceed potential savings made by requiring adults to provide government-issued IDs and sign affidavits stating they are citizens or that their immigration status qualifies them for benefits. Eligible families would go hungry as a result of being unable to access food stamps and other needed programs.

If passed, SB 9 would increase hunger in Pennsylvania by:
  • Preventing eligible families from getting Food Stamps because they lack government-issued identification. Currently, 25% of African-American adult citizens and 11% of adult citizens nationwide do not have government-issued IDs
  • Diverting money from financially strapped County Assistance Offices.
  • Creating an additional obstacle in accessing Food Stamps for immigrants, who are already much less likely to participate in the program than their native-born counterparts.
So what can you do to help?

Please contact your local representatives and urge them to oppose SB 9. Sample message to legislators: “SB 9 would prevent qualified families from receiving the assistance they need while imposing a $21.6 million burden on the state. Please oppose this bill.” Feel free to include your own story.
For more information on this issue please visit PathWays PA’s Policy Blog.


Save the Date - Bridging the Pennsylvania Network: Linking Food Production and Distribution with Food Security

The PA Association of Regional Food Banks, the PA Department of Agriculture - Bureau of Food Distribution, and the PA Hunger Action Center has collaborated to plan a series of three forums to take place over the next year.

WHEN: Wednesday, September 16

WHERE: Pennsylvania Farm Show VIP Room

The objective for these forums is to build a mass of interested parties from all aspects of the “food shed” into an identifiable and interactive Pennsylvania Food Network.

The first forum will include emergency food assistance providers, government and NGO food agencies, and anti-hunger advocates. Generally, the objectives for this meeting will be to:
  • gain an appreciation of the scope of this network component
  • gain an understanding of organizational commonalities as the departure point for ongoing communication and coordination
  • initiate discussion and plans for partnership development to be addressed in the second session


Special Delivery: How Coordinated Care Programs Can Improve Quality and Save Costs


Health care in the United States is often fragmented and uncoordinated, making unnecessary risks and avoidable costs an all too common part of the American health care experience.


To improve coordination and patient care while driving down costs, the Community Catalyst will release a new report in its Cost and Quality Series. In addition, they will be hosting a teleconference Thursday, June 18 at 2:00 to discuss its findings.

Please RSVP to the Teleconference by clicking here.

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