From our friends at FRAC
Strengthen and Protect Our Nation’s First Line of Defense Against Hunger
Background: Both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees are poised to take up SNAP legislation in the coming weeks. Bad choices could weaken SNAP/Food Stamps or do worse damage. It is critically important that your Senators and House Members hear a roar from constituents opposing proposals to cap or reduce funding, restrict eligibility or reduce benefits in SNAP – and that efforts should be made to strengthen, not weaken, the program. Members of Congress should also support efforts to strengthen TEFAP, so it too can better respond in times of increased need.
- Call Your Senators Toll Free: 1-877-698-8228* - You will be directed to the offices of your Senators
- Call Your House Members: 202-225-3121 (Capitol Switchboard)
SNAP Message: Every communication to your Members of Congress and the media should contain these three words: strengthen, protect, SNAP.
TEFAP Message: Urge your Members of Congress to support strengthening funding for TEFAP, which is a critical source of food for food banks and the clients they serve.
Don't forget to share your voice online by tweeting and using your Facebook status update. Be sure to tag us in your messages and include the hashtag #SNAPworks.
SNAP Talking Points:
- SNAP works. Weakening SNAP would lead to more hunger and food insecurity, worse health and educational outcomes, and higher health costs.
- Increasing SNAP benefits reduce hunger. USDA researchers found that the boost to SNAP benefits included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) improved the food security of low-income households.
- SNAP is responsive in times of need. SNAP’s responsiveness to unemployment proved it to be one of the most effective safety net programs during the recent recession, providing families with a stable source of food.
- SNAP helps the most vulnerable. The average beneficiary household has an income of only 57 percent of the federal poverty guideline; and 84 percent of all benefits go to households with a child, senior, or disabled person.
- SNAP lifts people out of poverty. SNAP lifted 3.9 million Americans above the poverty line in 2010, including 1.7 million children and 280,000 seniors.
- SNAP has – for decades – enjoyed bipartisan support. Recent polling data from FRAC found that 77 percent of voters said that cutting SNAP would be the wrong way to reduce government spending. Every bipartisan deficit group in 2010-2011 has insulated it from cuts, including the Simpson-Bowles and Domenici-Rivlin commissions; the Gang of Six; and the August 2011 deficit agreement. In his FY2012 and FY2013 budgets the President has included proposals to strengthen the program.
*Toll Free number courtesy of Feeding America.