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Category Archives: SNAP/Food Stamps

Needy families making tough choices

Jo-Ann, an unemployed single mother from New Haven, and her two teenage children have always tried to eat healthy. But eating nutritious foods has become more of a challenge since November 1, 2013. That’s when the family experienced a $36 a month cut to their monthly SNAP (food stamp) budget due to the end of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) that passed four years ago. The ARRA had provided a temporary increase in SNAP benefits to help struggling low-income households provide enough food for their families during the recession. “Fresh fruits and vegetables are expensive, so I clip coupons and purchase what’s on sale to stretch my food budget,” said Jo-Ann. And while Americans ought to be adding more fruits and vegetables to their diets, it’s a bigger issue for Jo-Ann, who has high blood pressure. Even before her monthly food budget was cut, Jo-Ann was struggling at...
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Also posted in Farm Bill, Nutrition, Unemployment | Leave a comment

The harmful effects of more SNAP cuts in Connecticut

Note: Since this blog entry was published, the Senate passed the Farm Bill on Tuesday, February 4, 2014. How many more meals can low-income Connecticut families afford to lose from their food budgets each month? According to the compromise farm bill passed by the House of Representatives on January 29, 2.4 million more meals would go missing each month from the tables of 70,000 low-income families in Connecticut as of January 2015.  The bill now goes to the Senate, where it could be voted on early next week before being signed into law by President Obama. This is the second cut in just three months to a program that is meant to protect our most vulnerable citizens.  On November 1, 2013, 1.4 million meals went missing each month in Connecticut when the ARRA SNAP benefit boost expired. The compromise farm bill’s $8.7 billion cut to SNAP funding over a 10-year period...
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Also posted in Farm Bill | Leave a comment

So Much to be Thankful for

The following blog entry is from Connecticut Food Bank’s President & CEO Nancy L. Carrington. The generosity of individuals, families, school and civic groups, businesses and organizations is making it possible for thousands of low-income families to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal this holiday. It is only through the support of many in the community that Connecticut Food Bank is able to ensure a successful “Thanksgiving for All” campaign. I am happy to report that together, we collected 25,512 turkeys and more than 412,720 pounds of trimmings. With everyone’s help, we were able to provide 599,055 meals for people in need of food assistance this holiday season. As we count our blessings for the outpouring of community support, we acknowledge that hunger does not take a holiday. In Connecticut alone, there are more than 520,000 people who struggle to put food on the table each and every day.  And nearly one...
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Also posted in Fund/food raising, Thanksgiving | Leave a comment

17 Million Meals are Now Lost in Connecticut

More than 420,000 Connecticut residents – or 12 percent of the state’s population – now have less money to feed their families. They are part of the 47 million Americans who are seeing their SNAP (food stamp) benefits cut on November 1, due to the end of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that passed four years ago. In Connecticut, that means 1.4 million meals lost each month, or 17 million meals missing from the dinner plates of low-income families each year. Wihin those families are 149,000 children, as well as 102,000 elderly and disabled residents. The cut means that a family of four will lose $36 a month from their maximum monthly benefit. While this may not seem like a lot, $36 provides much more than you think. It means several days’ worth of meals for a struggling family and is the equivalent of: One gallon of low-fat milk; a box...
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Also posted in Farm Bill, Recession, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Appreciation for Connecticut’s Congressional Members vote on hunger relief

Deficit reduction is vital to our long-term economic opportunity and security. But that doesn’t mean it can be undertaken without regard to our national values. Unfortunately, the House of Representatives left values on the sideline when it moved forward with the Nutrition portion of the Farm Bill – that would cut food assistance for our nation’s hungry by nearly $40 billion.  Connecticut’s delegation however, voted against these cuts.  We thank them for their commitment to helping those who struggle with food insecurity. Now legislation to cut SNAP will be taken up by the Senate. Under the legislation, millions of struggling Americans would see their food assistance cut or eliminated entirely, this at a time when all SNAP/food stamp participants are already scheduled to receive a benefit cut this November. Some like to point to the great work that food banks are doing to suggest that hunger is better solved by...
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Also posted in Farm Bill, Feeding America, Recession, Unemployment | Leave a comment

A taste of hunger

Many anti-hunger advocates are taking the SNAP Challenge this week as part of Hunger Action Month.  The Challenge? Living on a $4.50 a day budget for food.  The following guest blog entry is by Rachel Cohen, a high school senior from Westport, CT, who took the SNAP Challenge along with her mother this summer.   If you are like me, you could drop $4.45 at Starbucks in a snap.  That amount of cash took on a new meaning for me this summer as I participated in a SNAP challenge.  For those of you who don’t know, SNAP is this country’s food stamp program, and it has been in the news a lot this year as its fate has been debated in Congress.  After working this summer at a farmers’ market that lets its customers use their food stamps, I became interested in understanding how people who rely on SNAP are able to eat on $4.45...
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Also posted in Guest Blogger, Hunger Action | 1 Comment

Working people in need of food assistance

Record numbers of employed people are hungry The subject line in Connecticut Food Bank’s email inbox was just two words, Need Help. It was from a working mother asking if she could attend the mobile pantry distribution in Middletown that week. “I am out of food for the week but still have some gas left.  We don’t have any fresh food, dairy or grains.  We don’t qualify for any assistance, have jobs but can’t make ends meet anymore. Please let me know.” It was signed, Humbled in East Lyme. This email could have been from anywhere in Connecticut as the number of employed people who are having trouble making ends meet continues to escalate. This is not a surprise to Connecticut Food Bank, as results from the 2013 Map the Meal Gap research released by Feeding America in June show 57 percent of Connecticut residents who are food insecure do not...
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Also posted in Food Pantry, Map the Meal Gap, Moble Pantry, Recession, Unemployment | Leave a comment

SNAP roundtable points out realities of program

Connecticut Food Bank was the site of an enlightening roundtable discussion this morning about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps), hosted by U.S. Senator Chris Murphy. Today is the last day of Senator Murphy’s SNAP Challenge, where he is trying to live on $4.80 a day for food, which is what the average SNAP recipient in the state receives.  Though he said he could never truly walk in shoes of someone who is not certain where their next meal is coming from, he shared how he budgeted his dollars each day to try to eat healthy, and cannot imagine trying to feed his two small boys on a food stamp budget. Among the information shared at the roundtable: A young woman who is employed, but receives SNAP, said people who are in need, such as the elderly, may have trouble trying to navigate through the system and...
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Also posted in Farm Bill, Senator Chris Murphy | Leave a comment

Senator Murphy living on a $4.80 per day food stamp budget

Can you live on $4.80 a day for food?  That’s what U.S. Senator Chris Murphy is doing this week to gain a better understanding how the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) works on a personal level. Starting today, Senator Murphy will live on the average state food stamp benefit. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which administers the Food Stamp Program, the average monthly benefit in Connecticut is $143.89 per family member, which is $4.80 per day or $1.60 per meal.  Nearly 61 percent of SNAP participants are in families with children, and more than 33 percent of SNAP participants are in families with elderly or disabled members. About 33 percent of SNAP participants are in working families.   “427,000 people in Connecticut rely on SNAP benefits to feed themselves and their families,” said Murphy. “Spending some time living on this budget gives policymakers a firsthand look...
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Also posted in Farm Bill, Senator Chris Murphy | Leave a comment

Connecticut Food Bank Opposes Cuts to Hunger Relief in House Farm Bill

Connecticut Food Bank is outraged by the House Agriculture Committee’s vote to slash spending on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) by $21 billion.  “These cuts to SNAP will take food from the refrigerators and kitchen tables of vulnerable low-income families struggling to get back on their feet in the wake of the recession, said Nancy L. Carrington, President & CEO, Connecticut Food Bank. “On behalf of Connecticut Food Bank and our network of food assistance agencies, I urge our Connecticut congressional delegation to oppose cuts to SNAP in the House Farm Bill and to work to restore the cuts on the House floor.” Under the proposed cuts, two million people nationally will lose benefits entirely, 210,000 children will lose access to free school meals and another 850,000 households will see their benefits cut by an average of $90 per month. More than 400,000 people in Connecticut...
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Also posted in Farm Bill, Nancy Carrington | Leave a comment