Spotlight Exclusives

Anti-Hunger Advocates across the Country Come to Defense of Nutrition Assistance Programs

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Earlier this month, the House Agriculture Committee voted to pass its version of a new farm bill that cuts $12 billion more from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) than a Senate version passed last monthfor a total decrease of nearly $16.5 billon. The vote has provoked a diverse group of anti-hunger advocates to speak out in opposition to further SNAP cutsincluding through opinion pieces published on Spotlight. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />


Last Monday, a group of Catholic nuns ended its nine-state bus tour with a prayer session and press conference in the nation۪s capital. “Nuns on a Bus,” led by Sister Simone Campbell of NETWORK, voiced opposition to the Republican federal budget plan, including proposed reductions in SNAP spending. Responding to arguments that such programs create dependency, Sr. Simone asserted that “food stamps create not complacency, but opportunity.”


The following day, more than 100 individuals, including members of Congress, NGOs, faith groups and numerous anti-hunger advocacy organizations, gathered in front of the Capitol to oppose the bill. Many faith-based groups, who were present, argued that protecting nutrition assistance is the obligation and duty of elected officials and all Americans. The Rev. Gary Cook, director of church relations at Bread for the World, reminded the crowd that “this is not a Republican or Democratic issue; this is a moral issue” and called on the nation to create a circle of protection around programs that are vital to hungry and poor people.


Also at the gathering, the culinary community joined anti-hunger organization Share Our Strength in urging Congress to protect SNAP۪s funding. Seth Bixby Daugherty, chef and co-founder of Real Food Initiatives, presented a letter to the hill that included more than 400 signatures from chefs and restaurant owners. “I used to be the face of hunger,” the chef revealed. “Sixteen years ago, after a terrible accident, my family temporarily relied on federal assistance to help us eat. My wife, my daughter and I needed that support to keep food on our table during that tough time,” he added.


OOTS hopes that both sides of Congress will listen to as many voices as possible, and keep the needs of America۪s hungry in mind, as they work together to reach a compromise by September 30 when the current farm bill expires. For more on anti-hunger efforts in America, check out Spotlight۪s Ending Childhood Hunger in America Exclusive Commentary series.

Posted by Tamanna

Here at Out of the Spotlight, we offer a behind-the-scenes look at the latest news and information essential to anyone working to fight poverty. From key political appointees to clashes over policy, we cover the news that doesn’t always make the evening news. Check out Out of the Spotlight for our take on the twists and turns of the latest political developments and their impact on poverty reduction. Topics and ideas are welcome! Just contact or


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