Food Bank Launches Emergency "Lost Meals" Campaign To Stop Massive Food Stamps Cuts in Farm Bill Senate Passes Bill With $4.1 Billion in Cuts, 40% of Households Losing Benefits Are in NYC

House Bill Would Cut More Than $20 Billion

NEW YORK, June 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Food Bank For New York City today announced the launch of an emergency "Lost Meals" guerilla marketing and digital media campaign to stop massive cuts to food stamps that would disproportionately affect New York City.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130612/NY30732 )

On Monday, the Senate passed a version of the Farm Bill that would cut more than $4.1 billion from the food stamp program, officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). New Yorkers represent 40% of those nationally who will have their benefits cut as a result of the Senate bill.

The proposed House Bill is even more devastating, cutting $20 billion from the program. On any given year and without the assistance of hunger-relief organizations, New Yorkers are missing more than 200 million meals per year. Should the House Bill pass, city residents are facing an impending loss of 200 million more.  

"Our country's anti-hunger safety net is under attack, more so than at any time in Food Bank For New York City's 30-year history. Congress' proposed cuts to SNAP benefits would double our hunger crisis - a devastating proposition in a city where one in three residents already struggles to put food on the table," said Food Bank For New York City President and CEO Margarette Purvis.

At current benefit levels and without additional cuts, food stamp recipients receive an average of $1.50 per meal, which is often not enough to last a month. Approximately 1.4 million New York City residents, many of them already on food stamps, still need emergency food supplies for basic nutrition.

"With New York City's economy still struggling, taking money out of low-income New Yorkers' pockets and out of the local economy would strike a tremendous blow. We urge members of Congress to take immediate action to fully restore the proposed cuts to SNAP benefits and keep New York City from falling off a hunger cliff," concluded Purvis.

The new campaign launched by Food Bank For New York City today, will mobilize tens of thousands of New Yorkers to call on Congress to restore the cuts and protect the local economy. The multi-pronged guerilla marketing and digital media campaign includes:

  • Lost Meals campaign websitewww.lostmeals.org – which includes:
    • Social media campaign for New Yorkers to share their support of the issue;
    • Auto-generated letters to Congress.
  • Guerilla marketing campaign across NYC, to raise awareness and generate calls and letters to elected officials;
  • Thousands of postcards distributed by Food Bank For New York City's member agencies, to be filled out by constituents and mailed to elected officials;
  • A call for elected officials (including all New York City Mayoral candidates) to take the Food Stamps Challenge, so they can experience what it's like to live on a food stamp budget of $1.50 per meal for up to a week (www.foodbanknyc.org/foodstampchallenge).

Members of Congress across the country, including Congressman Joseph Crowley, are set to begin the Food Stamp Challenge on June 12th.

"I stand with Food Bank For New York City in opposing the short-sighted cuts to SNAP benefits contained in the Farm Bill," said Congressman Joseph Crowley. "We should be promoting legislation that lifts New Yorkers out of poverty, rather than cutting benefits that are a lifeline to hard-working low-income families."

About Food Bank For New York City

Food Bank For New York City recognizes 30 years as the city's major hunger-relief organization working to end food poverty throughout the five boroughs.  As the city's hub for integrated food poverty assistance, Food Bank tackles the hunger issue on three fronts — food distribution, income support and nutrition education — all strategically guided by its research. Through its network of  community-based member programs citywide, Food Bank helps provide 400,000 free meals a day for New Yorkers in need. Food Bank's hands-on nutrition education program in the public schools reaches thousands of children, teens and adults. Income support services including food stamps, free tax assistance for the working poor and the Earned Income Tax Credit put millions of dollars back in the pockets of low-income New Yorkers, helping them to achieve greater dignity and independence. Learn how you can help at foodbanknyc.org.

Contact: Emma Woods, emma@berlinrosen.com, 646-200-5305/203-568-4780

SOURCE Food Bank For New York City



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