BALTIMORE, June 21, 2017 — Maryland Hunger Solutions today sent a letter (pdf) from more than 100 Maryland groups to the Maryland Congressional Delegation urging support of the vital federal nutrition programs in the upcoming Farm Bill. The letter, signed by nonprofit, faith-based, and community-based organizations across the state, advocates for strong opposition to any cuts, block grants, or structural changes to Maryland’s Food Supplement Program (nationally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP).
Approximately every five years, Congress reauthorizes the Farm Bill — a comprehensive piece of legislation that authorizes most federal policies governing food and agriculture programs, including SNAP and TEFAP.
Both of these programs play a critical role in reducing hunger and poverty and boosting health for more than 700,000 Marylanders. The letter highlights the numerous benefits of these programs, including improved diet, learning, productivity, and health.
“Maryland’s Food Supplement Program — and SNAP nationally — is a proven and effective program that helps lift and keep the most vulnerable among us out of poverty,” said Michael J. Wilson, director, Maryland Hunger Solutions. “The program is our first line of defense against hunger, and primarily serves children, seniors, people with disabilities, veterans, the jobless, and low-wage workers.”
The 108 signatories, including the Maryland Food Bank, support protecting and strengthening SNAP and the federal nutrition safety net.
“Maryland’s food assistance safety network is a highly successful public-private partnership,” said Carmen Del Guercio, CEO and president, Maryland Food Bank. “Without the continued federal funding of programs that allow us to reach more vulnerable children, seniors, and working families, the meal gap in Maryland will grow so large that charities like the Maryland Food Bank will be unable to fill it.”
“The support for these programs in Maryland is wide and deep,” added Wilson. “The current Farm Bill is set to expire in September 2018, and discussions about the next Farm Bill have already begun. The Maryland Congressional Delegation must act in the best interest of all its constituents by doing its part to ensure a strong and effective nutrition safety net.”
Maryland Hunger Solutions, an initiative of the Food Research & Action Center, works to end hunger in the state of Maryland.