We’ve Got One Week to Stop Congress from Increasing Hunger in America

April 8, 2015
by Meredith Dodson, Director of US Poverty Campaigns

Your voice is needed! We’ve got one more week to stop Congress from putting deep cuts and changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) on a “fast track” in their 2016 budget. In late March, the House and Senate passed their budget proposals calling for deep cuts to SNAP and other key safety net programs, and the House puts those cuts on a fast track through the “budget reconciliation” process. Estimates are that the House cuts to SNAP could lead to 11-12 million Americans losing SNAP and at further risk of hunger. Budget Committee leaders have a deadline of April 15 (one week!) to reach a deal on a final budget resolution. Members of Congress are home for a few more days before they return to Washington early next week, which gives us an important opportunity to make sure they hear loud and clear that we want them to protect SNAP, our nation’s primary defense against hunger.

TAKE ACTION: Call your senators and representative’s LOCAL offices while they are home (you can look those up online), expressing your opposition to any cuts to SNAP, tailoring these talking points:

1. My name is ______________ and I am a constituent calling from ________________. I am very concerned that Congress will cut SNAP, or food stamps, in this year’s budget.

2. One in five American children is at risk of going to bed hungry tonight. SNAP helps millions of children, families, seniors, and Americans with disabilities put food on the table.

3. Yet some lawmakers want deep cuts to SNAP, which could throw 11-12 million Americans off the program.

4. Please tell Sen./Rep.______________ to protect SNAP by making sure nutrition programs are not included in “budget reconciliation”.

Before you hang up,  ask for opportunities in the next few days to discuss your concerns directly with your members of Congress.  While it will be tough to get a face-to-face meeting with your representatives and senators this week, it doesn’t hurt to ask in case there is an opening. Otherwise, ask for opportunities to attend and ask a question at a town hall Congratulations to many of you – already this year, RESULTS volunteers have discussed SNAP and other key anti-poverty policies with 30 members of Congress face-to-face (and dozens more Congressional staff). And, don’t forget to share your own experiences of how SNAP and other programs have made a difference in your conversations if possible — see this powerful piece in the Washington Post for inspiration.

Have additional time? Quickly personalize our SNAP LTE alert to send a letter to the editor to your local paper about protecting SNAP. RESULTS volunteers have had at least 39 pieces published so far this year, but the more pressure the better. Want more details and suggestions of other actions you can take? Check out our blogpost: https://results.org/blog/11_million_americans_could_lose_snap_speak_up_to_stop_the_cuts/. We can stop these cuts, but it will take all of us raising our voices together to make that happen!

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