Chair: Betsy Crites, bcrites@sonic.net 919.381.5969

POLICY ALERT

SNAP
House Bill Threatens to Deny Food to
2 MILLION People

Take Action NOW:
Call Your Rep!:  On Tuesday, May 8th, we all need to call our members of Congress and tell them to “Vote NO on H.R. 2, the Farm Bill!”  (Seriously, this means you and everyone you can reach about this.)  Please make use of(CHN Member)Feeding America’s toll free number: 1-888-398-8702.  You will be connected to your Representative’s office by putting in your zip code.

It is imperative that we let Congress know that we want them to “Vote NO on H.R. 2” because its rigid work rules will reduce or eliminate SNAP for millions. It will deny food to children, veterans, women, and people needing treatment and/or with disabilities.   Please share this number with your networks and ask them to encourage people to call.  The number is live now and people can start calling now but please make sure you call on Tuesday, May 8th!

Share on Social Media:
Be sure to join (CHN Members) Center For American Progress, CBPP, FRAC and others for a digital day of action on Tuesday, May 8thto get word out that Congress needs to Vote NO on H.R. 2!  Make sure to use #HandsOffSNAP. The action will go all day but we’re especially encouraging everyone to tweet/post during the 1:00pm EThour to maximize reach.

This fight to keep SNAP strong and free of arbitrary work rules really intended to deny assistance is the same fight playing out across other vital low-income programs.  Defeating H.R. 2’s SNAP cuts will strengthen our hand when it comes to similar fights over housing assistance, Medicaid, and other social programs.


The Protect SNAP Campaign 2018

The Durham Farm Food Network, along with other local food councils across North Carolina, is sponsoring a campaign to protect the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP–formally food stamps) and other nutrition programs from cuts or major restructuring.

We have launched this campaign because SNAP and other nutrition programs are critical to the well being of children, elderly, and families living with food insecurity, and because their future will be the subject of Congressional debate early in 2018.

As the 2018 Farm Bill is debated in Congress, all of us concerned about the nutritional needs of our neighbors at risk of hunger and food insecurity need to speak up and defend the programs that have proven to be effective.

Specifically, our letter urges Congressman G.K. Butterfield and Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tills to reject any proposals that

  • cut funding to SNAP or other federal nutrition programs,
  • shift costs to the states, or
  • otherwise reduce benefits affecting low-income working families, children, the unemployed, or the elderly.

Please sign your organization on to the statement with accompanying data and talking points about SNAP.

You can link to the letter HERE.


Food Security Coordinator proposal

Proposal: End Hunger Durham with the Durham Farm Food Network are recommending that the Durham City and County governments hire a Coordinator for Food Security: a paid staff person who can bring coherency, cooperation, and direction to the disparate food programs and guide Durham in developing a food security plan.

There are many organizations trying in different ways to address parts of the problem, but no comprehensive list of these entities with their missions has been compiled. There is no consistent coordination among them.

There is no unifying plan or process that helps the groups pull in the same direction without duplication.

There is no one entity, office or director charged with the role of coordinating the many efforts to solve the problem of food insecurity, coordinate resources, help set goals and guide planning, or that follows through with reports, evaluations, and summaries that keep the process going in the right direction.

Such coordination involves bringing together the multiple forces in play so that they are guided by an agreed-upon plan.

There is no common understanding of the multiple factors affecting food access, e.g. transportation, food prices, family income and wages, availability, racism, land use, nutrition, and even food customs.

Hence the need for a paid staff position with corresponding office and structural support to undertake this mission.


Senior Hunger

EHD’s priority policy issue throughout 2018 and beyond is hunger among seniors.  We are working to connect more seniors to SNAP through our Information Station in partnership with More in my Basket of the Cooperative Extension Service and the Northern Piedmont Benefits Enrollment Center of Duke.  We will also be meeting with other food providers to find where there are gaps that might be filled locally.

EHD is also spearheading work to make North Carolina a demonstration state for the Elderly Simplified Assistance Project:

What is the Elderly Simplified Application Project (ESAP) Demonstration?

The Elderly Simplified Application Project (ESAP) is a demonstration project that seeks to increase participation among the elderly low-income population by streamlining the application and certification process. ESAPs are limited to elderly households with no earned income, although some projects also include disabled households with no earned income. The waiver is granted for a period of five years.

Specifically, the demonstration project waives the recertification interview requirement, makes use of data matches to reduce the amount of client-provided verification, and extends the certification period to 36 months. ESAP demonstration projects also often make use of a simplified two-page application.

 

 


In November of 2017, End Hunger Durham issued a policy alert regarding the proposed tax reform, primarily in the Senate.

Tell our N.C. Senators to
 Vote NO on the Tax Bill

The Senate tax bill overwhelmingly benefits the wealthiest individuals and corporations and will ultimately be paid for by low- and moderate-income households.

The proposed tax reform will lead to a projected $1.5 trillion deficit.

Such a deficit will create the impetus for cuts to entitlement programs such as SNAP, WIC, Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security.

The Senate will vote as early as Thursday.
Call today!

Sen. Richard Burr:  (202) 224-3154
Sen. Thom Tillis: (202) 224-6342

Don’t be deterred because Senators Burr and Tillis may well vote for this bill.
They need to know that there is opposition and that we vote.

 

In October of 2017, End Hunger Durham issued policy alerts on the proposed changes to the Affordable Care Act which would affect Medicaid.

ALERT in October:

PLEASE CALL SENATORS RICHARD BURR AND THOM TILLIS TO OPPOSE HEALTHCARE REPEAL

The Senate leadership and Trump Administration are pulling out all the stops now to get at least 50 Republicans to vote for the Graham-Cassidy bill to dramatically cut and later repeal most of the Affordable Care Act.

This will mean the demise of Medicaid.

IT WILL

  • eliminate the ACA’s Medicaid expansion and ACA’s marketplace subsidies in 2020 and replace them with an inadequate block grant.
  • cap and cut federal Medicaid per-beneficiary funding for tens of millions of seniors, people with disabilities, and families with children starting in 2020.
  • remove protections for people with pre-existing conditions
  • deny healthcare coverage to tens of millions of people around the country

 Cuts to NC would come to $8.7 billion over 10 years.

 Call Sen. Richard Burr at (202) 224.3154

Call Sen. Thom Tillis at (202) 224.6342

Call Rep. GK Butterfield at (202) 225-3101 or

(919) 908.0164

Call Rep. David Price at (202) 225-1784


In 2016, End Hunger Durham worked on the following issues:

Oppose the Improving Child Nutrition Assistance bill (HR 5003).

The Food and Action Resource Center explains the problems:

The U.S. House Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) bill, H.R. 5003, includes a dangerous three-state block grant proposal for the school meal programs. This block grant would end the federal government’s ability to increase funding in areas of need, enforce child nutrition standards in school meals, and ensure students in need receive enough nutritious food year-round. Many other provisions of H.R. 5003 are also of serious concern, including a more difficult application process, harmful changes in community eligibility, and weakened school nutrition standards.

ACTION STEPS

Commit your organization to oppose H.R. 5003, especially the block grant provision.

  • Sign the statement opposing the school meals block grant provision in the House CNR bill here.

stoptheblock

  • After signing – share the link with your partner organizations. For the most recent list of organizational signers, click here.

 

Since Fall 2015 the policy group has also worked on the following issues;

Support for full funding of the Child Nutrition bill pending in Congress

            Request: fully fund without taking money from other nutrition programs

            Outcome: still in process.


Support for the corner store funding at the NC Legislature.

            Request: fund small retail stores to stock fresh food, $1 million

            Outcome: $250,000 was included in the 2016 budget.


Request to Gov. McCrory to veto HB 318 passed by the Legislature

            Request: Veto because of provision to cut SNAP benefits to adults age 18-55, not disabled and without children

            Outcome: Gov. signed the bill. Extension of SNAP benefits to this group was permanently limited to 3 months and the option of extensions during an economic downturn was permanently prohibited.


Support for the America Gives More Act

            Request: The bill (HR644) extends three charitable giving incentives, including the food donation tax deduction.  Most importantly, it expands the food donation tax deduction to small businesses, ranchers, and farmers and makes the deduction permanent.  

            Outcome: Passed by the U.S. Congress as part of the budget bill of December 2015.