Taking Congress to Your Local Food Banks

Feeding America works with lawmakers across the country to protect hunger programs

Zoey in red and white striped t-shirt and blue jeans sitting on ground
September 7, 2017
by The Feeding America Government Relations Team

Every August our elected officials in Washington go back to their home districts for a full month of meetings and touching base with their constituents. Rather than your normal summer vacation, the Congressional August “Recess” is a chance for all of us to meet face to face and have our voices heard. These month-long excursions in home districts are crucial moments in our democracy that allow for dialogue and interaction with our elected officials.

This summer, Feeding America and the network of 200 food banks across the country took this August Recess to tell our members of Congress loud and clear that American values means making sure all members of our community have enough to eat. From the Pacific to the Atlantic, Feeding America food banks were out in force this August meeting with their elected officials.

Check out a few examples below:

Senator John Kennedy

The Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana held a site visit with Sen. Bill Cassidy. They toured the facility and asked the Senator to sign onto a letter of support for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) — which helps to provide food banks with nutritious food.

The United Food Bank in Mesa, AZ, invited Rep. Andy Biggs to visit the Food Bank. There, Rep. Biggs packed Emergency Food Boxes alongside staff and learned how the Food Bank feeds families in his community. They also discussed SNAP, commonly known as food stamps, and funding for food banks

Roadrunner Food Bank in Albuquerque, NM, held a meeting with Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham meeting at the Food Bank with numerous community organizations providing input on how to keep up the fight against hunger in New Mexico.

The Feeding America Southwest Virginia Food Bank hosted Rep. Bob Goodlatte and he volunteered with Feeding America Southwest Virginia’s Café to Grow food truck, which serves fresh and nutritious food to kids in Roanoke, VA. They also had a Roanoke City Council Member and Captain of the Police Department at a summer lunch site to learn about summer feeding programs.

This year, Congress will begin debate on funding for SNAP and other anti-hunger programs, and soon the House of Representatives will vote on their budget that directs cuts to the SNAP program. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), sometimes called food stamps, help families make ends meet by stretching their grocery budgets. Those few dollars every week make all the difference when it comes to putting nutritious meals on the table.

As our members of Congress return to the nation’s capital, the Feeding America network of food banks will not be letting up. Heading into the fall and winter, millions of Americans who rely on federal anti-hunger programs will be at risk of losing the very essential assistance they need to keep their families healthy.

You can do your part by adding your voice.

Contact your Members of Congress to tell them to stand for an America where no one goes hungry.