Advocacy Archives | St. Louis Area Foodbank

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Call Congress About Child Nutrition

On September 30, the child nutrition bill will expire, and we need your help to convince Congress to get to work and make passing a strong child nutrition bill that invests in our nation’s children a priority.

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Help us spur Congress to action and strengthen child nutrition programs by calling today and spreading the word through social media.

 Calling Congress is easy. Here’s how:

  1. Dial our toll free number, (888) 398-8702, listen to the pre-recorded message and enter your zip code when prompted.
  2. Once you are connected to your House member, state that you are a constituent, and give your name and the town you are calling from.
  3. Let them know you are calling about Child Nutrition Reauthorization and deliver this important message:
    As your constituent and supporter of the St. Louis Area Foodbank, I’m calling you today about the Child Nutrition Reauthorization. Too many kids in our community are not getting the food they need, particularly during the summer months when school is out.

    As my Member of Congress, you can do something about it. 
    I urge you to pass a strong child nutrition bill that provides more options to get food to kids that need our help by providing flexibility in operating the Summer Food Service Program and streamlining program requirements for providers that operate both afterschool and summer meal programs.
  4.  Be sure to dial back in and speak with both of your senators and your representative.

Double your impact by sending an email

Older Americans Act

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1 in 12 Seniors is Going Hungry

Often times when we think of the face of hunger we think of the nearly 16 million children that live in food insecure households – we don’t often think of the elderly. The truth is that more than 5.3 million senior citizens are affected by hunger, that is 1 in 12.

With the number of older adults projected to increase by 35 percent over the next decade, nutrition programs targeted at seniors will be critical to safeguarding the health of this vulnerable population. Many of these older americans have worked their entire lives to provide for their families, are retired, volunteer their time and never expected that at this stage of their lives they would be unsure of where their next meal is coming from.

Older Americans don’t often ask for help.

At the St. Louis Area Foodbank we see this first hand. We receive phone calls, when they have nowhere else to turn, regarding signing up for SNAP benefits. And that is only a handful; many households may not even realize they qualify for benefits. At local food fairs we meet older american volunteers who assist us for hours loading pounds of food into hundreds of cars only to end their day driving through the same line to stock their own cupboards.

The sad truth is that in our 26-county service territory, of Missouri and Illinois, 14% of the people we serve are age 60 or older. Many of these individuals, at this stage of their life, are having to choose between paying for food or buying essential medicines. In fact, 71% of the people we serve have had to make that choice in the last year.

We must urge our members of Congress to reauthorize the Older Americans Act (OAA) as it celebrates it’s 50th year.

The Older Americans Act funds critical services that keep older adults healthy and independent, and provide needed support for seniors facing food insecurity.

Join us in urging Congress to reauthorize the Older Americans Act

Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)

A program implemented by the St. Louis Area Foodbank, is a commodity-based program, providing nutritionally-balanced, shelf-stable food packages to 8,800 in seven counties in Missouri and two in Illinois. Last year the St. Louis Area Foodbank distributed over 103,300 CSFP boxes to low-income seniors.

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CSFP is the only USDA nutrition program that provides monthly food assistance specially targeted at low-income seniors. CSFP must be funded each year through the annual federal appropriations process and can only serve as many eligible people as funding allows. As a result, CSFP only operates in 46 states and is unable to serve all eligible seniors in these states.Congress has a duty to provide adequate funding to expand CSFP nationwide to serve all eligible seniors.

Join us in urging Congress to reauthorize the Older Americans Act

May is Older Americans Month

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What is Older Americans Month, Anyway?

In 1963 John F. Kennedy declared May to be Senior’s Month as a way to acknowledge the accomplishments of our past and present older citizens. President Lyndon Johnson signed Older American’s Month into law in 1965.

This year’s theme is Get into the Act to encourage healthy aging and community involvement for seniors.

Healthy Eating = Healthy Aging

At the St. Louis Area Foodbank, we are doing our best to better serve the community of low-income seniors by partnering with the State of Missouri and Illinois as part of the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP).

This program provides a nutritious box of food every month to qualifying seniors who are 60 and older and who meet the income requirements set by the USDA.  We are excited to be able to provide this service to over 8,800 seniors in seven counties in Missouri and two in Illinois.

Cardinal Ritter Senior Services, just one of the many agencies who distribute the CSFP boxes, had this to say about the program:

“For our low-income senior adults living in our affordable housing apartments, the monthly CSFP food box is such a blessing.  It is so beneficial in providing our residents with something extra that allows them to stretch their limited budgets.  And as the items they receive month-to-month change, it provides some variety in their diet, as well.  We feel very fortunate that we are able to partner with the St. Louis Area Foodbank in providing this program to our residents.”

More Care to Share

In addition to CSFP, we proudly provide SNAP (food stamp) application assistance to the people living in the St. Louis Area Foodbank’s 26-county service territory.

We help with filling out and submitting the application, answer questions about the program, and provide follow-up assistance as well. This is extremely important, given only one third of eligible seniors receive SNAP benefits.

Suzi Seeker provides this service in Missouri where eight percent of seniors are living in poverty and Andrea Hale in Illinois where eleven percent are living in poverty as well.

Please join us at the Foodbank in celebrating our older friends and neighbors!

If you’d like to Get into the Act and volunteer with the St. Louis Area Foodbank, click here to sign up today.


Suzi

Suzi Seeker
Missouri CSFP/SNAP Coordinator, St. Louis Area Foodbank

Call Congress Today!

Help us generate phone calls to the House and Senate with a clear message- protect the programs that help us fight hunger!

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This week, the House and Senate are expected to vote on budget resolutions that would attempt to balance the budget in 10 years.

While these resolutions are non-binding, we are concerned that they will be used to draft legislation that would balance the budget on the backs of low-income Americans by cutting the hunger-relief programs that advance our mission.

We believe it is necessary to send a strong message early in this process and let them know that cutting programs that our families rely on is the wrong way to balance the budget.  Read more

House Passes H.R. 644

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On Thursday, February 12, 2015, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 644, the America Gives More Act of 2015, by a vote of 279-137​.

The legislation expands and makes permanent three expired charitable tax incentives, including the food donation tax deduction. H.R. 644 was introduced February 2 by Representative Tom Reed (R-NY).​

We will be watching this bill closely as it moves from the House to the Senate. We hope that as H.R. 644 moves forward in the Senate that both Republicans and Democrats can come together in support of the legislation.

This is an important legislative priority for the St. Louis Area Foodbank and food banks across the country. We know that all of your calls and emails to your Members of Congress contributed to it’s success thus far.

Stay up to date on important legislative issues and future action alerts.

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Take Action:
Food Donation Tax Deduction

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The House Ways and Means Committee will mark up today a bill that would expand and make permanent three expiring charitable tax incentives, including our food donation tax deduction. H.R. 644 was introduced Monday by Representative Tom Reed (R-NY) and is expected to move to the floor for a vote the week of February 9.

The same bill failed to pass the House under an expedited process called Suspension of the Rules last December by only a handful of votes last December. This time House Republicans are planning to bring up the charitable tax bills along with several other tax bills to highlight “Tax Certainty Week.”

This is an important legislative priority, and we urge you all to email or call your Representative this week to urge them to support its passage.

 Every call and every vote counts!

Calling Congress is easy.  Here’s how:

  1. Just dial our toll free number, (888) 398-8702, listen to the pre-recorded message and enter your zip code when prompted.
  2. Connect to your Representative first, state that you are a constituent, and give your name and the name of the St. Louis Area Foodbank.
  3. Let them know you are calling about food donation and charitable giving tax legislation and deliver this important message:

As your constituent and supporter of The St. Louis Area Foodbank, I am calling you today to ask you to vote for H.R. 644 on charitable giving tax incentives. This legislation is critical to ensuring our food bank has the food and the funds needed to continue supporting those in need in our community.

 

Thank you for your support.

 

Michelle Knight, Advocacy Coordinator

St. Louis Area Foodbank

Action Alert: Food Donation Tax Deduction

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This week Congress plans to pass a one year extension of all expired tax extenders, but the extenders would only renew the charitable giving incentives for three weeks before they expire again.

Yesterday, a stand alone bill (HR 5806), was introduced and is likely to head to the floor for a vote. We need to make one last push if we hope to see this over the finish line. We are so close.

Help us make one last strong effort by making phone calls to your representative and both your senators. Every call and every vote counts!

Calling Congress is easy.  Here’s how:

  1. Just dial our toll free number, (888) 398-8702, listen to the pre-recorded message and enter your zip code when prompted.
  2. Connect to your Representative first, state that you are a constituent, and give your name and the name of the St. Louis Area Foodbank.
  3. Let them know you are calling about food donation and charitable giving tax legislation and deliver this important message:

As your constituent and supporter of The St. Louis Area Foodbank, I am calling you today to ask you to pass the new legislation for charitable tax extenders (HR 5806) as a stand-alone bill before Congress adjourns for the year. This legislation would help ensure our food bank has the food and the funds needed to continue supporting those in need in our community.

  1.   Be sure to dial back in and speak with both of your senators and your representative.

Thank you for your support.

 

Michelle Knight, Advocacy and Communications Coordinator

St. Louis Area Foodbank

A Few Spare Minutes to Make a Big Impact

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act. The rest is merely tenacity. You can do anything you decide to do.”

–       Amelia Earhart

I think most of us aspire to make a difference – either in our careers, in the lives of our loved ones, or in our community.

But life, with all its complications and commitments, often seems to stand in the way.

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Though we may have the best of intentions, we somehow never seem to find the time or energy to do all that we hope to do.

Like many of us, I often tell myself that I’ll be able to do more giving back later in my life. . .when my son is older. When my work is less busy. When I have fewer social commitments.

The trouble with “later” is that inevitably, something or someone new always appears. That hope for “later” becomes a mirage we continually chase.

What if I could do something NOW? Is there something I can do in my small snippets of free time that would still make a difference?

Right now, the St. Louis Area Foodbank needs your online vote to help us win a $60,000 grant. If we win, we will be able to provide more than 200,000 additional meals to families in need!

You can vote once a day at http://stlfoodbank.org/clickforacause. Just put MO in the search bar and vote for the St. Louis Area Foodbank. Then share with your friends and family and encourage them to vote too!

Then, as we continue to celebrate Hunger Action Month, I’m happy to say that there are a myriad of additional things I – and those like me – can do.

Here’s a list of small actions that require just a few moments to achieve, but still make a big impact. You can make a difference in the lives of the 1 in 8 people in our community who struggle with hunger.

 By Bethany Prange

St. Louis Area Foodbank Social Media Specialist