From the Food Research and Action Center (http://www.frac.org):
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) has announced that she will introduce an amendment (http://frac.org/pdf/anti_hunger_amendment.pdf) to the Farm Bill that restores, over 10 years, the $4.5 billion cut to SNAP and invests $500 million in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Snack program. She has circulated a “Dear Colleague Letter” in the Senate asking for cosponsors.
Contact your Senators (202-224-3121 Senate Switchboard) and urge them to demonstrate their support for SNAP by co-sponsoring the Gillibrand SNAP amendment. Offices should contact Kathryn Tanner in Sen. Gillibrand’s office, Kathryn_tanner@gillibrand.senate.gov, to co-sponsor the amendment. Direct contact information can be found at:
- Senator Robert Casey: http://casey.senate.gov (NOTE: Senator Casey has a toll-free number—(866) 802-2833)
- Senator Pat Toomey: http://toomey.senate.gov
Farm Bill Update
This week, the Senate is expected to begin consideration of the Farm Bill (S. 3240; ). The proposal includes a $4.5 billion cut to SNAP over 10 years by reducing the ability of states to take part in the “Heat and Eat” program (see description below). The cut would mean that an estimated 500,000 households a year would lose $90 per month in SNAP benefits (Congressional Budget Office estimate).
FRAC’s Farm Bill Action Plan
The Farm Bill could be on the Senate floor for the next three weeks, and getting co-sponsors for the Gillibrand amendment is the first step in our work to support and protect SNAP. We need to maintain a strong and consistent call from organizations across the country while the Farm Bill is up for debate. We have sample e-mail alerts, op-eds, tweets, and other resources to maximize your advocacy efforts. We are also coordinating our efforts with other national organization partners to establish D.C. call-in days and other grassroots activities that will support our SNAP Farm Bill campaign, including a Virtual Town Hall on June 18th (details to follow). Follow this link to FRAC 101’s on advocacy actions (http://frac.org/leg-act-center/advocacy-tools/) you can take to support SNAP and nutrition programs in your community. Download these sample tweets on SNAP to get the message out.
Background on “Heat and Eat”
“Heat and Eat” coordinates SNAP and the Low-Income Household Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) by providing small cash LIHEAP benefits directly to SNAP households. This targeted LIHEAP benefit helps meet LIHEAP’s requirement for outreach, simplifies the SNAP shelter deduction calculation, and, by increasing SNAP benefits to more realistic levels, alleviates some of the untenable “heat or eat” choices that households face. Follow these links to FRAC’s ‘Heat and Eat’ one-pager (http://frac.org/pdf/snap_cuts_and_heat_and_eat.pdf) and CRS’ ‘Heat and Eat’ memo (http://frac.org/pdf/snap_liheap_conressvc_may2012.pdf).