Feeding America, the nation's largest domestic hunger-relief charity, has launched an initiative to urge every member of Congress to visit a food bank in 2013. Congressional members from 19 states have visited food banks thus far. To date, more than 36,000 emails have been sent from Feeding America hunger-advocates to members of Congress urging them to visit their local food bank this year.
"The choices Congress will make this year around the federal budget and the farm bill are about more than just numbers on a balance sheet. These decisions are about real people and real families," said Bob Aiken, president and CEO of Feeding America."The need for food assistance remains high, and our food banks are really struggling right now to help all the people in their communities who are turning to them for help. Members of Congress need to know that Feeding America food banks and other charities simply could not absorb the increased demand for food if funding were cut from SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program formerly known as food stamps)."
"We want to make sure that our Congressional leaders understand the extent of hunger back home, as well as the impact their decisions will have on so many people who are struggling to make ends meet," Aiken said."They need to understand that most of the people who seek help from both food banks and the federal government are families with children, senior citizens who can't make it on fixed incomes, and the working poor. We want Congress to see our food banks at work and have an opportunity to meet with the people we serve."
Feeding America food banks provide food and groceries to residents of nearly every county in the nation. One in eight Americans will receive food and groceries from a food pantry, soup kitchen or another agency served by Feeding America this year.
"We are grateful that so many elected officials have already made time to visit our food banks when they are back home and we encourage every Member of Congress to do so as well. With both Republicans and Democrats taking up the challenge, this campaign demonstrates the bipartisan commitment to ending hunger in America," Aiken said.
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