“Money, money, money, moneyyyyy!” It is true that if you follow the money you know who controls the topic, issue, or cause. In the case of hunger relief, I tried to follow the money and found that the government sections the money intro federal and state money and they divide it further to money for hunger relief and hunger relief for children. The United States (US) Government The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) : Background and Funding document (2018) states that annually the money used is about 250,000,000-260,000,000 dollars annually. That seems like a lot of money if we are just talking but compared to how much the US spends on medical services and pharmaceuticals which is estimated to be 350,000,000-450,000,000 dollars. In comparison, it is small and honestly, it makes me furious that we spend so much money on medications alone but not ending hunger and food insecurity.
Feeding America has an amazing chart which highlights the major stakeholders and whom they serve:
On there website you can go in and then click on each group and the link for their website comes up explaining each government/state/private entity: https://www.feedingamerica.org/take-action/advocate/federal-hunger-relief-programs
In terms of sustaining and creating innovation for hunger relief and food insecurity President Obama and his administration created and passed The Agricultural Act of 2014 (P.L. 113-79) also known as the 2014 Farm Bill, was signed into law by President Obama on February 7, 2014. The 2014 Farm Bill made many important changes to SNAP. Among the retailer related provisions, it required FNS to update the stocking standards used to authorize SNAP retailers and provided additional resources to fight retailer fraud. It also called for pilot testing the use of mobile devices to redeem SNAP benefits and to pilot test accepting SNAP benefits through online transactions. The pilot programs are creating innovative devices to reach those who are unable to travel for food or to track the communities’ food needs. The bill authorized $200 million in new funding for up to 10 three-year pilot projects to rigorously evaluate new approaches to move SNAP participants into work or higher paying jobs. The 2014 Farm Bill expanded the definition of retailer to include government agencies and not-for-profits that purchase and deliver food to the elderly and/or disabled, thus allowing for testing of home delivery for these vulnerable populations, and allowed agricultural producers who market directly to consumers to accept EBT. The Farm Bill also authorized Food Insecurity and Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grants to incentivize the purchase of fruits and vegetables among SNAP participants at retailers like grocery stores and farmers markets (USDA, 2019).
Food insecurity and hunger relief DESERVE everyone attention and priority! The fact that Maricopa County has the 5th worst rating for children going hunger and not having enough to eat is a disgrace to this place I call home. Stand with me and be an active citizen! Go volunteer with your local food bank. Give your tax deduction donation to help food insecurity. Host a family for a holiday. Get involved with the Youth Changing America movement: https://ysa.org/10waystoendhunger/
Do whatever you can small or big to help the least of these and always remember you are one decision or accident from being these people as well! Thanks for following me this semester as I discuss this topic. Love and Light, Wairimu.
Congressional Research Service, & Billings, K. C. (2018). The emergency food assistance program (TEFAP): Background and funding (R45408). Retrieved from Congressional Research Service website: https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R45408.pdf
Feeding America. (2018). Federal food assistance programs. Retrieved from Feeding America website: https://www.feedingamerica.org/take-action/advocate/federal-hunger-relief-programs
United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service. (2018, September 17). A short history of SNAP. Retrieved from United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service website: https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/short-history-snap
United States Department of Agriculture. (2018, April 25). Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Retrieved from https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-snap
Youth Service America. (2014, December 2). 10 Ways to End Hunger. Retrieved April 2, 2019, from https://ysa.org/10waystoendhunger/
Yu, N., Attberry, P., & Bach, P. (2018, July 31). Spending On Prescription Drugs In The US: Where Does All The Money Go?. Retrieved from https://www.healthaffairs.org/do/10.1377/hblog20180726.670593/full/