Tuesday, March 8, 2016

What The Media Is Getting Wrong About The Snap 3-Month Time Limit

There has been a good deal of media coverage over the last few weeks about the pending SNAP cuts affecting those the government labels as “Abled-Bodied Adults Without Disabilities,” better known as childless adults who may be struggling to get by and typically aren’t eligible for other forms of public assistance.
This April, 23 states will re-impose a 3 month time-limit on SNAP benefits - formerly Food Stamps - for hundreds of thousands of low-income adults. As a result, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates at least 500,000 to as many as 1 million SNAP recipients will have their benefits cut off in 2016.
This 3 month time limit, originally imposed in 1996 but waived by most states during the recent economic recession, means that unemployed and underemployed adults aged 18-49 who don’t qualify for disability or aren’t raising children will be cut off from SNAP after just 90 days. Starting April 1st, these individuals will no long receive their food assistance benefit, which average just $150 -$170 per month, barely enough to meet the most basic nutritional needs. These are our nation’s poorest of the poor, with average incomes around $2,000 per year.
However, they can continue to receive the assistance if they can secure a full-time job with at least 20 hours of work per week or enroll in the under resourced (and often unavailable) state job training programs.
But that can be easier said than done. This harsh time limit does not take into consideration if someone is working part time, but less than the 20 hour per week required, is actively looking for work but can’t find anything, or is willing to participate in a job training, but there are no programs in their county or there are no open slots. It does not consider if someone is a veteran, or homeless, or an ex-offender or struggling with addiction or mental health issues.
It may be tempting to look at this wave of SNAP cuts as simply a “work requirement” or a system to incentivize “able bodied” folks to work hard and become “deserving” of food assistance, as some of the media coverage will try to convey. But, without mandating that states offer employment or job training opportunities for this at-risk population and/or raise the minimum wage, a 3-month time limit that demands folks who face huge barriers to employment secure full-time work is downright shortsighted. For this population, already struggling on the bottom rungs, the research shows this time limit will simply mean more hunger and hardship.
The nation’s food access organizations, advocacy groups and activists are bracing for yet another wave of Americans slipping through our deteriorating safety net. We cannot stand by and allow hunger in the U.S. to continue to grow. There is the Fight for $15, proposals to boost the earned income tax credit for childless adults and important legislation protecting the right to nutritious food for all that we can and must continue to support.
More Than Half A Million Unemployed Childless Adults Will Lose
Food Assistance Benefits in 2016
Watch this video from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities to learn more:


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

MN FoodShare March Campaign

The Minnesota FoodShare March Campaign is an annual statewide effort to help local food shelves fight hunger. It recruits thousands of individuals, companies, schools and community groups to hold local fund and food drives to aid in the effort.
During the month of March, food shelves across the state collect donations of money and food for the Minnesota FoodShare Campaign. The food and fund donations stay local but count toward the statewide effort. The more that is raised locally, the larger the share of the statewide campaign.  These donations will support your local food shelf and its efforts to help fill the shelves and feed people in need.
There are many ways to help support the March Campaign.  Individuals can donate funds by mail, on-line or in person.  Businesses or organizations can host food and/or fund drives to aid in the effort by collecting cash or cans from their customers, employees, or members.
Call your local food shelf or contact Second Harvest to get involved.
Support your local food shelf today! 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Why Hunger launches Find Food Texting Service!

WhyHunger is proud to announce the launch of its new Find Food Texting Service that will allow more people than ever to find healthy food in their neighborhood via a simple text message! This is a national service that is critical in making food even more accessible to those in need and it eliminates the extra step of making a call.

To find food all you have to do is text your zip code to 1-800-548-6479 to get an instant listing of places in your area that you can go to for food assistance.

As part of the Nourish Network for the Right to Food, the WhyHunger Hotline 1-800-5 HUNGRY (1-800-548-6479) refers people in need of emergency food assistance to food pantries, government programs and model grassroots organizations nationally that work to increase access to nutritious food and build self-reliance. Help is available by phone Monday through Friday from 9am-6pm EST and now with the new text option, information can be retrieved 24/7.

In addition, WhyHunger continues to add resources (food banks, food pantries, food access sites) to its comprehensive Find Food Database of emergency food providers from around the US with the most up-to-date information about access to healthy food and nutrition services. If you need any further assistance, don’t hesitate to call our Hotline number directly, search "find food" or send a text!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Chef's Gala

Area Chefs Unite to Support Second Harvest

 A “Chef’s Gala Benefitting Second Harvest” will be serving up gourmet fare for hunger relief on Thursday, January 28th, 2016 at the Timberlake Lodge. Attendees will join four premier local chefs for a four-course meal of their signature dishes. 
The evening will start with Chef Sarah Master, Mr. Roberts Resort preparing a fabulous appetizer followed by Chef Robert Hansen of Forest Lake serving up a delicious soup. Chef Dusty Gould of Timberlake Lodge/17th Street Grill will present the main course with a wine pairing provided by Tony Serratore of Pokegama Plaza Liquor. Barb Schack of Barb’s Korner Kitchen will wrap up the evening by serving dessert.

“It is an honor for Second Harvest to have these talented chefs come forward to support the food bank” according to Sue Estee, Executive Director of Second Harvest.  “This is our sixth year and the Gala is a great way to combine an interesting meal with hunger relief.  Our community really cares about all of its residents.  The Chef’s Gala will be a delicious way to raise money for a cause that is continuing to struggle to meet their needs.”

Local “celebrities” are being recruited for auctioning off as servers for the event as well as the entertainment.  These “Celebrity Servers” may assist in serving the table that purchases them but will primarily act as fundraisers. Luke Garner will act as the Master of Ceremonies for the evening.   

The Gala begins with a social hour at 5:30 p.m., Celebrity Server Auction at 6:15 and the first course will be served at 7:00 p.m.

Come join the fun and help fight hunger in our community. Seating is limited call Kim at 218.326.4420 ext. 24 to reserve your spot at the table!