October 24, 2019
"Feed the hungry" is one of the clearest calls to people of faith in scripture. It is also the basis of one of St. Martin's three major community engagement priorities. SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) plays a vital role in feeding America's children.
Below is an article we have shared on social media that outlines new proposals that could seriously affect how families qualify for food assistance, and how children specifically are affected in regards to free and reduced school breakfast and lunch costs.
We are lucky here in the Philadelphia Public School District that ALL students currently receive free breakfast & lunch- however, this proposal could also affect how schools qualify based on the needs of their population.
The USDA has reopened the public comment period for this proposal until NOVEMBER 1st, 2019 (that's next Friday). We have a short time to make our concerns known. Please read through this article & consider your position. If you feel moved to do so, please leave a comment with the USDA.
Read the PBS news article on this subject:
Visit the USDA comment page to leave your comment electronically.
Below is a form letter that you can use or adjust as you see fit, to send along to the USDA either on the comment page above, or by mail, before the end of their comment period on November 1, 2019. We have copies of this letter at St. Martin's in the Parish House lobby that you can sign and send on Sunday morning as well.
Mr. Stephen L. Censky
Deputy Secretary USDA
Office of Policy SupportFood and Nutrition Service USDA
3101 Park Center Dr.
Alexandria, VA 22302
Dear Mr. Censky,
As a person of faith, I am writing to oppose the proposed rule change to SNAP that will take benefits away from hundreds of thousands of citizens and cause suffering to children in under-resourced schools. The proposed rule (ID: FNS-2018-0037-16542) will gut broad-based categorical eligibility, take away free school lunches from hundreds of thousands of children, and create a benefit cliff for families already struggling with poverty-level incomes.
I am asking for the USDA to retain the current categorical eligibility standards for broad-based eligibility in the SNAP program. SNAP is the most effective program we have for combating hunger and supplementing income for marginal households while supporting neighborhood groceries and American agriculture.
Food security is a basic human right and our faith traditions teach that care for the hungry is a primary obligation for any just society. Please reject this rule change for the good of our most vulnerable citizens and take a stand for the moral decency of our republic.
Tags: Rector's Note