Don’t Get Mad — Take Action

June 4, 2009 § Leave a comment

Lisa IMG 001 copyLisa Goddard
Advocacy and Online Marketing Director

Earlier today, we shared our disappointment about the Food Bank bill and encouraged you to not be discouraged.  Here’s an opportunity for you to get involved in some fast-moving federal legislation.  Well, as fast as the federal government moves, but you know what I mean. 

The House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee will take the Fiscal Year 2010 Agricultural Appropriations bill next Thursday, June 11.  There’s a request to provide $15 million for food bank infrastructure grants and $100 million in TEFAP storage and distribution grants. U.S. Representatives James P. McGovern (D – MA) and  John Boozman (R – AR) are circulating a sign-on letter for Congress to show bi-partisan support for inclusion of these appropriations. There are only 33 signatures on the McGovern-Boozman letter supporting this bill, including U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett (D- TX). You can help by calling your Representative’s office no later than 4 p.m. Eastern time, Friday June 5, and ask for their support.  If Congressman Doggett is your representative, you can call and tell him thanks.

TEFAP, The Emergency Food Assistance Program, is a Federal program that helps supplement the diets of low-income people, including the elderly, by providing them with emergency food and nutrition assistance.  Local organizations, like food banks, distribute this food to those in need.

Appropriations 101
Every year, Congress considers appropriations measures which provide funding for a variety of government services and operations. The rules for considering these funding measures are called the congressional appropriations process.  Here’s a great summary about the process.

How to take action:Action Alert logo
Call the congressional switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for your Representative. You will be transferred to your Representative’s office. If you’re not sure who your representative is, use our legislator finder.

Your talking points:

  1. I understand that the Agricultural Appropriations Subcommittee will be taking the Fiscal Year 2010 Agriculture Appropriations bill next week which requests $15 million for food bank infrastructure grants and $100 million in TEFAP storage and distribution grants.
  2. In the Capital Area Food Bank’s service area, there has been a more than 40 percent increase in clientele since this time last year.
  3. In order to meet the growing demand and to effectively distribute increased food approved as a result of the Farm Bill, food banks need funding to help with the equipment and facilities they use to store and distribute food safely.   

Bring it home with a strong ask:
These modest requests are desperately needed to help food banks, like the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas, acquire and provide food to struggling families.

Get bonus advocacy points: 
Encourage your friends — across the country — to take action. This legislation doesn’t just help our food bank.

If you took action, and have any feedback from your legislator’s office, please let us know.


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