March 19, 2018
LONG ISLAND CARES, INC.—THE HARRY CHAPIN FOOD BANK OPPOSES CUTS TO HUNGER RELIEF IN HOUSE FARM BILL: CALLS ON REPRESENTATIVES ZELDIN, KING, SUOZZI, RICE, & MEEKS TO PUT PEOPLE FACING HUNGER ON LONG ISLAND FIRST
The following statement is attributable to Paule T. Pachter, A.C.S.W., L.M.S.W., Chief Executive Officer of Long Island Cares, Inc.—The Harry Chapin Food Bank
“Long Island Cares, Inc.—The Harry Chapin Food bank” is extremely dismayed by the language included in the 2018 Farm Bill by the House Agriculture Committee which would significantly reduce SNAP participation and food assistance across the nation. Particularly, the deep cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will be devastating to our community, and there is no way food banks like ours can keep pace and make up the difference. In fact, at our three storefront satellite service centers, located in Huntington Station, Freeport, and Lindenhurst, we saw an overall increase in demand of nineteen percent in 2017. Among children this figure is at 43 percent. Our member agency network is starting to report similar increases as well.
“Our food bank is part of the fabric of our community and feeding neighbors in need is a shared responsibility. Each day we see the partnership reflected among our volunteers and donors. But the nonprofit sector cannot do this alone — for each meal provided by Feeding America’s network, of which Long Island Cares, Inc. is a member, the SNAP program provides twelve. SNAP is a cornerstone federal nutrition program and vital to addressing hunger in America. It is also critical to our local economy, generating business for retail and related jobs in our community.”
While we at Long Island Cares, Inc. understand that legislation like the Farm Bill contains compromises and competing priorities, ensuring that Americans have the ability to put food on the table should be considered fundamental. Any reductions to the SNAP program whatsoever should be deemed unacceptable by Congress. Our nation’s adults need this assistance to maintain their health and employment, and its children and students desperately need it to ensure a better, brighter tomorrow for everyone.