Connecting with your Legislator

With every area of the federal budget on the table for cuts, we have a lot of work to do to make sure Members of Congress know that hunger is a problem in their district and that their constituents want to protect federal nutrition programs from cuts.

This year's recess calendar has members of Congress home in the district more often than in years past, meaning you'll have increased opportunities to engage your representatives about hunger by using things such as site visits to food banks, town hall meetings, and district meetings.

Click here to find your state or local official and encourage them to support Virginia's food insecure.

State and National Issues

The Farm Bill 2012

The Farm Bill is the single largest source of federal funding for nutrition assistance programs. In addition to the Nutrition Title (Title 4), the Farm Bill includes 15 titles covering a range of agriculture-related areas such as commodities, conservation, rural development, livestock, and energy.

The Nutrition Title sets policy for TEFAP and CSFP, the commodity nutrition programs, and SNAP, the largest federal nutrition program. Additionally, the Nutrition Title includes several smaller programs that connect low-income people to fresh produce through farmers’ markets and schools and supports local infrastructure for community food systems.

Click here for Farm Bill updates and news.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP):

SNAP helps put food on the table for more than 44 million people each month. It provides low-income households with electronic benefits they can use at most grocery stores, and is the cornerstone of the federal nutrition safety net. Unfortunately, SNAP benefits, which are modest, are slated to be cut to pay for other legislation enacted in 2010. With hunger, unemployment, and economic hardship affecting so many Americans, SNAP is more important than ever.

Support the President’s budget proposal to restore SNAP benefits used to help pay for the Child Nutrition Reauthorization (thereby delaying cuts from November 1, 2013 to April 1, 2014). Because unemployment remains so high, support the President’s budget proposal to suspend for another fiscal year the time limits on SNAP for certain working-age, low-income adults without dependents.

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC):

WIC provides nutritious foods, nutrition education, and access to health care for millions of low-income pregnant women, new mothers, infants, and young children at nutritional risk.

Support the President’s budget proposal of$7.6 billion, the amount estimated to serve the anticipated caseload of women, infants, and young children and to meet other program needs. We also encourage Congress to support efforts to include funding for the full Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommendation, which would mean increasing the cash value of fruit and vegetable vouchers for children by $2 per month. Congress should also monitor WIC data throughout the appropriations process to ensure that appropriated levels will fully meet anticipated needs.