Working a full-time job in America doesn’t guarantee you will have enough to eat. Food & Nutrition Services (known as SNAP at the federal level) helps families who need help buying food. Despite helping more than 47 million people during these challenging economic times, Congress is considering cutting funding for this important safety net. Read the full article at Yahoo/Takepart.com.
Alleghany County residents are feeling the effects of the downturn in the economy. For these residents, knowing where their next meal will come free or even when they might eat again is a difficult reality. Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina works with community groups in Alleghany County to help address this problem, known as food insecurity. Food & Nutrition Services, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, also serves to alleviate food insecurity. However, in Alleghany County, only 44% of persons eligible for Food & Nutrition Services are enrolled. Participation among seniors is even lower, 27%. To read the full article in The Alleghany News, click here.
A recent article by AARP highlights efforts to reach seniors who face food hardship. One way of addressing food hardship among seniors and other groups is encouraging them to apply for Food & Nutrition Services (FNS). FNS participation among seniors is low compared to other groups; only about 30% of eligible seniors receive FNS benefits in North Carolina. The NC Association of Feeding America Food Banks is helping to enroll seniors (and other eligible groups) in FNS, thereby reducing the need for seniors to decide between purchasing food or paying for utilities or health care. This outreach is desperately needed, as a new Census poverty measurement reveals that nearly 16% of seniors live in poverty, primarily due to high out-of-pocket medical expenses.
USDA Undersecretary Kevin Concannon recently addressed common misconceptions about SNAP (known in North Carolina as Food & Nutrition Services or FNS). Undersecretary Concannon noted that of the record 44 million Americans receiving SNAP benefits, more than half are children, elderly, and the disabled. The increase in SNAP participation is due in large part to the harsh economic conditions that continue to make it difficult for Americans to put enough food on the table. In addition to easing food hardship for those that receive SNAP, the program benefits us all, as it is estimated that for every $5 in new SNAP benefits, about $9 in economic activity is generated. Undersecretary Concannon further states that USDA has taken successful steps to reduce fraud and ensure payment accuracy. To read the full article in the Stokes News, click here.
The recently released report by the Food Research & Action Center indicates that nearly one in three Eastern North Carolinians experienced food hardship in 2010. The state’s 1st congressional district ranks second among all 436 congressional districts in the country for food hardship. G.K. Butterfield, representative of the state’s 1st congressional district, recognizes the importance of federal nutrition programs to address the growing hunger problem. Rep. Butterfield states that while cuts need to be made to the federal budget, these cuts should not fall on low-income families. Read the full article at ENCToday.com.
A recent report by the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) reveals that North Carolina ranks 6th in the nation for food hardship, a downward trend from the state’s ranking as 9th in the nation in 2009. Among the Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) with the highest food hardship rates, Winston-Salem, Greensboro-High Point, and Asheville ranked 3rd, 4th, and 7th, respectively. These numbers highlight the importance of federal nutrition programs, such as Food & Nutrition Services, as well as the role that food banks play in addressing the hunger needs of North Carolinians. Read the full report here.