This is a community announcement from the Food Bank of the Southern Tier. It was not written by The Ithaca Voice. To submit community announcements, email tips@ithacavoice.com.

ITHACA, N.Y. — “The Food Bank of the Southern Tier is dismayed at language included in the 2018 Farm Bill by the House Agriculture Committee that would significantly reduce SNAP participation and food assistance.

Particularly, the deep cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will be devastating to our community, and there is no way charities like ours can make up the difference.

Our food bank is part of the fabric of our community and feeding neighbors in need is a shared responsibility. Each day we see the partnership reflected among our volunteers and donors. But the nonprofit sector cannot do this alone — for each meal provided by Feeding America’s network, of which the Food Bank of the Southern Tier is a member, the SNAP program provides twelve.

SNAP is a cornerstone federal nutrition program and vital to addressing hunger in America. It is also critical to our
local economy, generating business for retail and related jobs in our community.

While we understand that a piece of legislation like the Farm Bill involves compromises and competing priorities, ensuring that Americans have the ability to put food on the table should be considered fundamental. Any reductions to the SNAP program whatsoever should be deemed unacceptable by Congress.”

ABOUT HUNGER IN THE SOUTHERN TIER

• Throughout the six counties the Food Bank serves, more than 72,500 people are food insecure, or at risk of experiencing hunger.
• One in seven people lives with food insecurity; one in four children are at risk of hunger.
• 40 percent of people served by the Food Bank are children; 15 percent are seniors.
• In 2017, the Food Bank distributed 12.5 million pounds of food, enough for more than 10 million meals. The Food Bank serves 18,860 people each week.

ABOUT THE FOOD BANK OF THE SOUTHERN TIER

The Food Bank of the Southern Tier distributes food to people struggling with hunger through a network of 165 food pantries, meal programs, shelters and other hunger relief agencies in Broome, Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga and Tompkins Counties. The Food Bank also directly serves people in need through Kids’ Farmers Markets, the BackPack Program and Mobile Food Pantry Program. Through advocacy, education and community partnerships, the Food Bank’s vision is to create a future without hunger for everyone in the Southern Tier. The Food Bank of the Southern Tier is a member of Feeding America and a regional agency of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Rochester, and was named the 2017 Food Bank of the Year.

Featured image: The Immaculate Conception Food Pantry in downtown Ithaca serves about 120 families every Tuesday. Photo by Kristi Gogos/The Ithaca Voice