AAFB spearheads advocacy and public policy efforts in Arizona and nationwide in collaboration with other organizations whose interests and concerns align themselves with our mission. Be sure to Like us on Facebook to get the most up-to-the-minute advocacy and public policy news
of interest to you, our member food banks and those struggling with hunger throughout Arizona.
The Latest News
MAY 23 UPDATE:
With the Arizona Legislature adjourned, the focus has shifted to Washington, DC and actions Congress is considering for both the 2013 Federal Budget and the 2012 Reauthorization of the Farm Bill
. Each of these legislative packages have significant impact on how nutrition assistance programs will operate in the near and long-term future for low income, hungry Americans. To help simplify what you can do to help, here are two actions you can do today to make your voice heard on these pivotal pieces of legislation to your two US Senators, John McCain and Jon Kyl and your member of the House of Representatives (to find your US House member check out www.votesmart.org
AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL:
- Contact Your Members of Congress about actions they may be considering for both the 2013 Budget and the 2012 Farm Bill reauthorization. Message: Strengthen and Protect SNAP (formerly Food Stamps). Urge your Senators and Representatives to oppose any proposals in the upcoming Budget or the 2012 Farm Bill that would change SNAP’s structure or reduce funding, restrict eligibility or reduce benefits. Congress should strengthen, not weaken SNAP, including the President’s proposal to restore the cut in the ARRA boost.
- Send a follow-up Letter to your House Member: Respond to your House members vote "For" or "Against" the Sequester Replacement Act of 2012 (H.R. 5652). This bill harms our communities by cutting important human needs programs like SNAP/food stamps, Medicaid, Medical Coverage Reforms, the Child Tax Credit, the Social Services Block Grant, and federal workers’ pay in this bill. Click here to send a letter of "appreciation" or "disappointment".
Deficit Reduction Measures
The failure of the Super Committee to come to an agreement last year triggered automatic cuts that go into effect in January 2013 unless Congress takes further action. While most anti-hunger programs are exempt from these automatic cuts, uncertainty remains. Any attempts by Congress toward deficit reduction could put anti-hunger programs at risk of cuts.
The Farm Bill governs federal both farm and food policy, including SNAP (Food Stamps), TEFAP and other nutrition programs. The Farm Bill is renewed every five years and the current version expires on September 30, 2012. What to watch for:
Implementation of Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR; The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act)
- The Agriculture Committees made recommendations to the Super Committee for $23 billion in cuts, including a $4.2 billion cut to SNAP. That package may be the starting point for discussions on the 2012 Farm Bill. With the current emphasis on cuts, it seems unlikely at this point that there would be new investments in nutrition programs.
- Our top legislative priorities: strengthening The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) to better meet the increased demand for food and protecting SNAP and other anti-hunger programs from cuts or harmful programmatic changes.
CNR authorizes funding for federal school meal and child nutrition programs and increases access to healthy food for low-income children. What to watch for:
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- The USDA released their new nutrition standards in January 2012.
- CNR included the first real (non-inflationary) reimbursement rate increase for school meals in roughly 30 years. USDA plans to begin issuing these funds in 2012.
- USDA will select states to participate in a demonstration project to test the use of Medicaid data for connecting eligible children with free school meals.
AAFB sends periodic email alerts to keep you apprised of activities at the state and federal levels, with instructions on how you can make a difference. To subscribe, simply send us an email
How to Take Action: Contacting Your Legislative Officials
AAFB thanks you for making calls and sending emails and letters in this time of budget crisis and economic uncertainty. Your voice does make a difference!
Learn More About Our Past Efforts