From our friends at End Hunger CT!
Thank you calls needed to Senators Lieberman and Blumenthal!!
Please call or email Senator Blumenthal and Senator Lieberman to say THANK YOU for their actions on the Farm Bill:
- Co-sponsoring the Gillibrand amendment that restores SNAP cuts in the Farm Bill (Senator Gillibrand's Anti-Hunger Amendment); and
- Voting to table the Paul amendment to Block Grant SNAP yesterday which passed 65-33! (Senate vote)
Senator Lieberman D.C. phone number: (202) 224-4041 or email
Senator Blumenthal D.C. phone number: (202) 224-2823 or email
2. Tweet at one of SNAP message each day this week. Click here for 14 sample SNAP tweets!
Example:The SNAP Effect: fighting hunger and lifting people out of poverty. http://bit.ly/nUvvWq #SNAPworks
There is a lot of activity on the Farm Bill in the next several weeks. We'll be asking for your help to keep SNAP strong. In April, 2012 there were over 22,000 new SNAP households added in Connecticut - a high number as unemployment benefits ended. Connecticut is currently helping 206,000 families with their nutrition needs through SNAP. NOW is NOT the time to cut the program!!
We need to maintain a strong and consistent call from organizations across the state and country while the Farm Bill is up for debate.
Background on "Heat and Eat"
"Heat and Eat" coordinates SNAP and the Low-Income Household Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) by providing small cash LIHEAP benefits directly to SNAP households. This targeted LIHEAP benefit helps meet LIHEAP's requirement for outreach, simplifies the SNAP shelter deduction calculation, and, by increasing SNAP benefits to more realistic levels, alleviates some of the untenable "heat or eat" choices that households face. Follow these links to FRAC's Heat and Eat one-pager.
Of food insecure people in Connecticut 56% do not qualify for SNAP (food stamps) or other government programs because their incomes are above the income guidelines required for these programs and they still can’t afford to feed their families for months. They often rely on other sources such as the Connecticut Food Bank, Gemma E. Moran Food & Labor Center, local pantries and kitchens to help feed themselves and their families. What we’ve always termed as “emergency” programs are now utilized more as supplemental programs each month. This is a trend seen among many of our emergency food sources nationwide and has beenan increasing trendin New London County.
With 35.5 million households at risk for hunger in the United States in 2009, a strong national response is required to meet the need for anti-hunger programming. Nationwide, a complex public private partnership has developed between government and the emergency food assistance system. In New London County, a unique set of partnerships developed to fight hunger by modifying our emergency food system to fit our community needs.
The Gemma E. Moran Food Labor center was born from a strike in the summer of 1988. An effort rose in collaboration with the Metal Trades Council, New London Central Labor Council, Norwich-New London Building and Construction, Trades Council, MDA United Auto Workers, Teamsters, Norwich Central Labor Council, and United Way of Southeastern Connecticut, that lead to the opening of the food center in September 1988 as a response to the need from the employees involved in the strike. The food center's vision to strengthen the community by offering food and guidance to every man, woman, and child in their times of needs was built off in the belief that in the "land of plentiful" there should be NO reason why anyone should go hungry.
Based on this beliefe, the Food Center joined efforts as an anti-hunger advocate by becoming an official Subsidiary Distribution Organization (SDO). This status ensures a partnership with the Connecticut Food Bank in East Haven, the largest food bank in the state, to provide a product allocation based on poverty levels as determined by the census. The Food Center, in order to address the meal gap, the hunger issue in New London County, joined efforts thorugh a time-tested partnership between United Way, Labor and the entire community that works.
Where does the food come from?
The Gemma E. Moran United Way Food & Labor center receives surplus non-perishables and more recently perishable foods from CT Food Bank, Feeding America, US Department of Agriculture (USDA), food corporations, distributors, packers, supermarket chains and restaurants. It also receives both food and monetary donations from the community through local food drives performed by corporations, post offices, civic groups, schools and a wide variety of businesses to help strengthen the food supply that will benefit their local community needs.
Although the emergency food system began as an accrual of surplus material, there’s a nationwide and countywide effort to satisfy more of the supplemental and emergency client needs by providing more nutritious diet enhacing food options to our community in need.
Where does the food go?
The Gemma E. Moran Food/Labor center is a clearinghouse that distributes over 2 million pounds of food to approximately 93 feeding sites and 183 programs in New London County every year at no cost. The food center supplies free food to sites that are 501(c)(3) sponsored members that include: emergency pantries, community meal sites (soup kitchens), child day care centers, homeless shelters, after-school programs, shelters for battered women and children, programs for the elderly, senior nutrition programs and many more. These sites further distribute food to 18,000 individuals.
Programs such as POPPIN however, allow the distribution of non-member agencies in the community to obtain both perishable and non-perishable surplus material. Therefore, the Gemma E. Moran Food & Labor Center along with the member and non-member agencies in New London County continue to fight hunger by providing a sustainable source of food for all those in need disregarding the different socioeconomic status. The face of hunger is shifting as we’ve moved deeper into the recession, therefore our emergency food system in New London County serves not only the low income population but all community members at risk of hunger!