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Federal Budget Anti-Hunger Fight: Please join 27 Mass organizations on sign on!

Massachusetts is expected to lose over $2 billion in federal food stamp/SNAP benefits during the next 10 fiscal years if proposals before Congress to "block grant" the SNAP program prevail. Currently more than 800,000 Massachusetts residents (children, seniors, parents, persons with disabilities) receive SNAP benefits, comprising 440,000 SNAP households. The value of SNAP benefits received in Massachusetts exceeds $100M per month – more than $1.2B a year. As Coalition members know, in addition to providing food to low income households, SNAP benefits directly stimulate the economy by generating roughly $1.80 for every $1 in SNAP benefits. USDA Economic Research Service recently confirmed that the 2009 ARRA increase in SNAP benefits helped decrease food insecurity of low income families.

The House Budget proposal of Congressman Paul Ryan would reduce SNAP benefits by over 20% in the next 10 years, triggering a reduction of $2.05 billion in federal funds to Massachusetts, according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. See also May 5th CBPP report disputing false claims for increase in SNAP participation and benefits: As Coalition members also know, Congress has already made cuts to WIC, FEMA emergency food, CSBG in recent Continuing Resolutions and is intending to cut even more from these and other core safety net programs.

Action Step: Please join national and state anti-hunger organizations by signing onto an organizational letter in opposition to Congressional proposals to block grant SNAP and cut other benefits. The DEADLINE is May 16th. Currently, 27 Massachusetts organizations have signed onto the letter – see below. Please consider adding your organization to this effort!! IF YOU NEED information about the impact of the SNAP cut on your city or town, or county, please let me know. We have zip code information on the number of recipients/households and value of benefits paid that may be useful.

** Current Massachusetts Organizations Signed onto national letter (as of 5/10/11):

Amherst Survival Center
Bay State Child Care Food Program
Bedford Youth & Family Services
Boston Living Center
CC Family Life Center
Children's HealthWatch
Congregation Beth Israel
Family Economic Initiative
Greater Boston Food Bank
Hunger Outreach Team, Worcester State University
Immigrant Service Providers Group/Health
Latinos Unidos en Massachusetts, LUMA
Mass Law Reform Institute
Massachusetts Citizens for Children
Minuteman Senior Services
National Association of Social Workers-Massachusetts
New England Farmers Union
Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance
Open Pantry Emergency Food Pantry
Partners for a Healthier Community, Inc.
Plymouth AIDS Support Services
Poor Peoples United Fund
Project Bread - The Walk for Hunger
Rosie's Place
Survivors Inc
Tifereth Israel Congregation
Worcester County Food Bank