GBFB and National Advocates Press Congress on Hunger Relief Policy Priorities in Washington, D.C
In May, several GBFB and Hunger to Health Collaboratory team members headed down to Washington, D.C., for the FRAC and Feeding America National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference. Hundreds of food bankers and hunger-relief advocates from across the country participated in the conference which featured nearly 50 panel presentations ranging from data coordination to improve access to SNAP benefits, to advancing child nutrition, to engaging pantry client voices to drive policy change.
Massachusetts’ very own Representative Jim McGovern, recognized nationally for his long-term commitment to ending hunger and role in bringing the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health to life, kicked off a day of lobby meetings on Capitol Hill. GBFB and partner organizations from the Commonwealth met with the Massachusetts congressional delegation to share about the state of hunger back home, our federal hunger relief priorities in the Farm Bill, and the launch of our 2023 statewide study: Opportunities to Improve Food Equity and Access in MA: Ending Hunger Together.”
The visit to Washington came at a pivotal moment; with the impending debt ceiling negotiations, we urged Congress to protect cuts to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash benefits that had been proposed in negotiations. As history shows, reducing these critical federal benefits further threatens the state of hunger in Massachusetts and across the country. Read our joint statement to the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation opposing the proposals here.
“Decisions made at the federal level impact people we speak with every day who are facing food insecurity and trying to put food on the table for their families, especially now that pandemic benefits have ended,” said Anny Vargas, Senior SNAP Associate at GBFB. “Everyone deserves healthy food – many families wouldn’t be able to afford healthy food since it is expensive, yet SNAP allows families to have access and options to a balanced diet. With SNAP, families don’t have to worry about their next meal – they can reallocate their savings to essential living expenses – rent, mortgages, utility bills, and more.”
GBFB’s 2023 statewide study demonstrates that with one in three people facing food insecurity at some point last year, the hunger crisis persists— highlighting the affordability and inequity challenges our state is facing.