Please call the Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Legislative leadership and ask them to support an increase of $16.5 million in the Hunger Prevention Nutrition Assistance Program (HPNAP) to $51 million. As the regional food bank for Long Island, we at Long Island Cares distributed greater than 976,000 pounds of HPNAP product through our network of member agencies in 2015. HPNAP also provides funding for operations support and equipment for food banks, food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters. This funding assists with costs for staff, utilities, space, food service disposables, transportation, and capital equipment.
For over 10 years, HPNAP funding has not increased to meet the growing needs. In New York State, over 485 million meals are missed by those facing food insecurity in our state. Cuts to the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program (SNAP) have resulted in the loss of over 261 million meals for vulnerable New Yorkers. More than 3 million New Yorkers rely on emergency food to feed themselves and their families. This figure includes 316,000 Long Islanders who sadly do not know where their next meal is coming from.
Emergency Food Providers are seeing an increase in the number of working poor, veterans, and seniors at their doors. Hunger on college campuses is also increasing. Consequently, Long Island Cares is now supporting several college food pantries so that these men and woman have the nutrition needed to succeed in class.
The $51 million request is to better align program funding with increased demand and rising food costs. Without this increase, Emergency Food Providers may have to turn people away or ration pantry bags.
Please call this week and next!
The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor of New York State New York, call 518-474-8390
The Honorable John Flanagan, Majority Leader of the NYS Senate, call 518-455-2071
The Honorable Carl Heastie, Speaker of the New York State Assembly, call 518-455-3791.
The Honorable Jeffrey Klein, Coalition Leader& Independent Conference Leader, call 518-455- 3595
Ask for HPNAP to be increased by $16.5 million to $51 million so our fellow New Yorkers will not face a day of hunger.