Foodlink attended the National Anti-hunger Policy Conference — organized by Feeding America and the Food Research & Action Center — earlier this week in Washington D.C.
More than 1,000 attendees from Feeding America food banks and anti-hunger advocacy groups convened to listen to speakers and participate in workshops over a two-day period. On the third day, most attendees arrange meetings with members of Congress to discuss a range of issues that impact food-insecure people across the country.
This year, one focal point of advocates is the ongoing threat to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and how that will impact communities and the emergency food system. The federal government has proposed three rule changes that could result in 4 million people losing access to benefits. The first rule change is scheduled to go into effect this spring, and could affect more than 700,000 people nationally.
Advocates also discussed topics such as Child Nutrition Reauthorization and The Emergency Food Assistance Program.
On Tuesday, Foodlink met with staff members from the following offices: Rep. Tom Reed (23rd District), Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Rep. Joe Morelle (25th District, Rep. John Katko (24th District) and Senator Charles Schumer. The Schumer meeting included numerous food bankers and anti-hunger advocates across New York — and culminated with a group photo in his office in the Capitol — just off the Senate floor.