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2012 Farm Bill - Too Many Cuts to Our Neediest Neighbors

Speak out to fight cuts to food access for the neediest of our community. Then grow your own!

The 2012 Farm Bill is Moving in the Senate — PLEASE Call Congress TODAY

The Farm Bill is a comprehensive piece of legislation that sets the overall food and agriculture policy for the country. The Farm Bill authorizes and funds mandatory nutrition programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). It is imperative that we urge support of nutrition programs contained in the Farm Bill, so that the hundreds of thousands of Long Islanders who rely on them to feed their families are not left hungry.

FARM BILL STATUS: On Friday, April 20, the Senate Agriculture Committee released their draft "mark" of the Farm Bill and announced that this bill will be marked up in committee beginning this Wednesday, April 25. Call Today!

Just dial 1-877-698-8228 to be connected directly to both of your senators. The system allows you to connect toll-free to both of your senators without hanging up the phone.

Dial 1-877-698-8228. When prompted, enter your zip code and listen to the brief instructions. You'll then be patched through to your first senator's office automatically.

• Tell them that you are a constituent and state the name of the town you are calling from.

• Let them know you are calling about the Farm Bill and deliver this important message:

'Oppose amendments that would further cut nutrition programs and support amendments that would direct additional funds to TEFAP.'

*Please thank Senator Gillibrand for her support of our hunger relief work and of nutrition programs and encourage her to continue her efforts in protecting nutrition programs.

For more information, please read an analysis of key provisions by Feeding America below:

SNAP: The bill contains a proposal to cut approximately $4 billion in SNAP benefits by making the LIHEAP "Heat and Eat" Policy more restrictive. Currently available in 14 states (CT, DE, ME, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OR, PA, RI, VT, WA, WI) and the District of Columbia, this policy can enable SNAP beneficiaries to receive additional SNAP benefits. While SNAP participants in these states were previously eligible to receive these increased benefits if they received as little as $1 in LIHEAP benefits, this bill now requires that the minimum LIHEAP benefit that can be received and still be eligible for these increased benefits is $10. Many of those benefiting from the policy tend to be seniors and disabled individuals living in subsidized housing. The proposed restrictions would cause beneficiaries to see an immediate reduction in their monthly SNAP benefits averaging a $90 loss in monthly benefits, forcing them to seek out other means of attaining the food resources they need. The provision is expected to impact 500,000 households.

TEFAP: The bill provides an increase of $10 million per year in mandatory funding. In addition, the bill also reauthorizes the TEFAP Infrastructure Grant Program at a level of $15 million per year. As it was in the past, TEFAP Infrastructure Grants are subject to appropriations.

CSFP: This bill makes CSFP a seniors-only program, available only to those aged 60 and older. It does however include a provision to allow those women and children currently participating in the program to remain in the program until their eligibility expires.* CSFP is already a seniors only program New York.

For questions, call Nicole Vitale at Island Harvest: 631-873-4775 ext 215

Idea: Dig up your lawns & start your own garden...grow your own food!

http://cleanfoodearth.blogspot.com

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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