Posts Tagged ‘Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program’

Hunger Shame

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

“While we’re a thriving metropolis that is proud of its rich culinary depth, New York has too many residents who are unable to even eat,” writes New York Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, in this editorial posted yesterday in the New York Daily News.

“More than a third of New Yorkers struggle to afford food. That means children are hungry at school, parents working multiple jobs cannot provide for their loved ones, and families must sometimes choose between putting food on the table and paying bills.

That should not be our New York. But since the Great Recession in 2008, food insecurity has been a growing reality. ..

A major tool in the fight against hunger is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps. More than 1.8 million New Yorkers receive food stamps, contributing $3.5 billion to the city’s economy. But there are hundreds of thousands of others who are eligible for this aid but don’t receive it. Providing more language translation, removing application barriers and coordinating outreach are measures we will focus on.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that every $1 in food stamps generates $1.79 in local economic activity. Not only are families suffering needlessly without access to these benefits, but low-income communities lose out on more than $1 billion each year in economic stimulus…

Reversing the tide against hunger will take a coordinated effort from lawmakers, community groups and everyday New Yorkers. Together, we can create an environment that reminds everyone why we are the greatest city on the planet: We look out for one another.”

Lilliam Barrios-Paoli

At Catholic Charities, “looking out for one another” is what we are all about.  For more than 100 years we have been fighting hunger and helping solve the problems of New Yorkers in need, non-Catholics and Catholics alike.  We help with emergency food programs throughout the City; including St. Jerome’s in the Bronx where Msgr. Sullivan pitched in to serve the hungry yesterday.

Recently, Msgr. Kevin Sullivan and fellow Catholic Charities representatives met with Deputy Mayor Barrios-Paoli.  We are working collaboratively with organizations across the City to intensively promote Food Stamp enrollment.  And we are assigning case management staff to enroll qualified New Yorkers receiving food at our pantries into the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps.)

Are you, your children or your family hungry?  Call us at 888-744-7900

Or call the NYC 24- Hour Hunger Hotline at 1-866-NYC-FOOD (1-866-692-3663)

Help us fight hunger.

Read Deputy Mayor Barrios-Paoli’s full Op Ed in the New York Daily News.

Feeding Our Neighbors Campaign

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

By Alice Kenny

To confront the crisis of growing hunger in New York, we kick off today, Sunday, January 26, Feeding Our Neighbors.  This united campaign to fight hunger responds  to Timothy Cardinal Dolan’s call that we all do our part to replenish the food pantries and soup kitchens that so many families in our community rely on to survive.

To further this effort, Msgr. Kevin Sullivan just met with one of our state’s top elected officials, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, to share the Catholic Charities perspective on hunger and food insufficiency.  The Senator convened a very small policy roundtable this Sunday with leaders of food provider organizations and key advocates to discuss the impact of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) cuts in New York.

More and more New Yorkers have been reaching out to soup kitchens to feed their families,  reports CBS News in this just-released report*:

  • New research released this week by the Food Bank for New York City reveals that most of the city’s food pantries have seen a sharp increase in visitors.
  • The trend follows a $5 billion national cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program that went into effect Nov. 1.
  • The cuts affect nearly 2 millionNew York City residents who receive benefits from the program.

 

Feeding Our Neighbors, sponsored by organizations throughout the Archdiocese of New York and managed by Catholic Charities, will use 100% of contributions to the campaign to support local food pantries that serve New Yorkers, non-Catholic and Catholic alike.

Please join us in Feeding Our Neighbors.

The time is now, January 26th - Sunday, February 2nd  2014.

Take one small action to help feed the hungry.

Together, we can change lives.
Support a Fundraising Drive.

Donate through Catholic Charities and type “Feeding Our Neighbors” in the comments field.

Text “CCHOPE” to 85944 to make a quick $10 donation.


Feed the Big White Box.

Bring non-perishable foods to a “Feeding Our Neighbors” food drive at any Catholic parish in the New York Archdiocese, the Catholic Charities headquarters at1011 First Avenue, or anyArchdio cesan Catholic School.

 

*Check out the report on CBS news.

Cutting the Lean from Food Stamps

Monday, October 7th, 2013

Msgr. Kevin Sullivan and fellow hunger advocates. Photo courtesy of The New York Times.

Msgr. Kevin Sullivan said, “Our Catholic inspiration for feeding the hungry can be traced back to Jesus feeding the hungry on a hillside at the end of a long day.” He went on to say, “the need is even more acute now. Hunger among poor New York families is so extensive that hundreds of thousands of children go to bed each night without enough nutritious food to eat. These children wake up hungry and have a hard time concentrating in school. Some of the critically important programs to deal with this are now threatened by cutbacks in funding. Food is a basic human need. Our neighbors cannot be allowed to go hungry.”

 

By Ginia Bellafante

Published in The New York Times October 4, 2013

If you live alone and receive $200 a month in food stamps (the maximum the government allows for a single person and the equivalent of $2.30 per meal), your budget remains unlikely to accommodate much of the healthy, essential, “good” food that in this city and so much of the country has become its own religion, at the levels of both culinary passion and public policy. We hail the fact that greenmarkets accept electronic benefit transfer cards, but availability and affordability are hardly tandem principles.

According to research by the Food Bank for New York City, the price of food in the New York metropolitan area rose by 16 percent between December 2007, the start of the recession, and the end of last year, with 32 percent of New Yorkers in 2012 reporting difficulty paying for the food they needed. Those dependent on government subsidies to supply their tables will feel these increases more harshly as cuts to the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (or SNAP, as the food stamp program is called) go forward.

At the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine last week, advocates for the hungry including Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan initiated an effort to stop planned cuts in food stamps. The clock showed the time left before the cuts went into effect.

Read the full story here.  

 

Hunger Clock Countdown Projected on Saint John the Divine

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Photo: Cathedral of St. John the Divine

Catholic Charities joined The New York City Coalition Against Hunger and fellow anti-hunger advocates across the nation in projecting a “Hunger Clock” yesterday across the side of Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine. The clock, along with similar clocks nationwide, began a countdown to automatic cuts scheduled to start on November 1st to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/Food Stamps.)

Calling to restore funds and stop attempts to pass additional cuts, hunger advocates joined with religious leaders and elected officials to project “Hunger Clocks” that will tick down to the November 1st benefit reduction date. Advocates are also bracing for a significant additional disruption of hunger funding due to the federal government shut down.

Nearly two million New York City residents – 48 million people nationwide – who currently receive SNAP (food stamp) benefits face significant reductions in their food allotments on November 1st, when the federal “hunger clock” kicks in. The $39 billion in SNAP cuts now being debated by Congress would be in addition to the November 1st reduction. The majority of SNAP recipients are working parents, children, seniors and people with disabilities. In addition, the average length of time someone receives SNAP is currently less than one year.

The clock is ticking. 29 days now remain until all SNAP recipients see a reduction in benefits.

“There are basic human rights that all people are entitled to, the right to work, housing and adequate food,” said Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan. “Government has a role, as do we, in safeguarding these rights. Cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps) would have devastating effects on our families and individuals already struggling to make ends meet.”

Government Shutdown Cuts Food Program for Women & Children

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

By Alice Kenny

WIC, the Women’s Infants and Children program that provides food for 9 million women and children, was shut down today after the House and Senate failed to agree on a bill to fund the federal government.

The clock is now counting down for cuts in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP/food stamps – that provides food for millions of hungry Americans.

Advocating for the hungry, Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan joins fellow anti-hunger advocates at 1 p.m. today to introduce a “Hunger Clock.” Displayed across the side of the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, the Hunger Clock will provide a countdown of days –30 today and ticking down– until all SNAP recipients see a reduction in their food benefits.

48 million Americans will see their SNAP benefits cut on November 1st. In addition, Congress has proposed $40 billion in SNAP cuts as part of the Farm Bill. The majority of SNAP recipients are working parents, children, seniors, and people with disabilities. In addition, the average length of time someone receives SNAP is currently less than one year.

Catholic Charities is here to help.  Catholic Charities supports a vast network of soup kitchens and food pantries to help homeless and individuals in need.  In any given year, Catholic Charities and its affiliated agencies provided 6,600,000 nutritious meals in parish and community food programs.


Looking of help?
Click here  or call us at the Catholic Charities Help Line: 888-744-7900.

Wonder what else is closed and open during the government shutdown?
Check out this updated News Channel 4 site.

Stop the Hunger Clock is a national, web-based campaign aimed at drawing attention to these pending cuts.
Click here to learn more.

Electrocuted During Hurricane Sandy, Survivor Struggles to Recover

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

 By Alice Kenny

Leaning on his black cane, Fujimoto Takashi, 64, struggles to pronounce words that convey the terror he felt the afternoon his basement apartment in Midland Beach, Staten Island, morphed into a whirlpool of chairs, refrigerator, motion and mementos.

Born in Hiroshima four years after the atom bomb was dropped there, Mr. Takashi already knew devastation first hand.  He grew up believing, he said, that if he could make his way to the United States he would find a safe place to thrive.

For a long time, his plan seemed to work.  Mr. Takashi moved to California in 1977.  He developed a career as a photographer.  And he later made his home in Staten Island.

Never did he suspect, he said, that a disaster spurred by nature and not by man would nearly kill him. But when Hurricane Sandy tore through Staten Island, the subsequent flooding inside his basement apartment electrocuted and nearly drowned him.  It destroyed his health, his home and his means of making a living.

“Growing up in Hiroshima I helped other people and felt their pain; now others are feeling my pain,” Mr. Takashi said.  “Catholic Charities gave me the encouragement I needed to not give up.”

Monday, October 29, began like most days, Mr. Takashi said.  He was fixing a camera light plugged into the wall of in his Andrews Street apartment.

Suddenly he noticed water pouring in under his front door.  He grabbed for the camera light plug.

But it was too late.  Electrical currents bore through his right calf.  They shot in one end, out the other and left a hole as their memento.   He suffered a stroke, he recalled, then passed out.

He awoke to the taste of salt water, bouncing on furniture that floated five feet above the floor.  His right arm and leg no longer functioned.

“Help me!” Fuji shouted.

Hurricane winds and neighbors’ panic smothered his screams.  Night came and went. Fifteen hours passed.  Water receded.  His energy waned.

Finally, at 10:30 the following morning, his landlord knocked on his door.

Much of what happened next is blur, he said.  An ambulance rushed him to some hospital – he can’t remember which.  Later he was transferred to Staten Island University Hospital. For 38 days doctors treated burns that covered much of his body and physical and mental repercussions from his stroke.  Finally, he was transferred to Golden Gate Nursing Home where therapists began teaching him how to walk again.

After two months in a hospital and rehabilitation center, he was released to go home.

But everything had changed.  Hurricane Sandy stole much of his memory and mobility.  It destroyed his photographic equipment, stealing his livelihood.  And it tore apart his home, leaving his furniture, clothing – all he owned – rotting and covered with mold.

“When I came back home I had nothing,” Mr. Takashi said.

His landlord gave him a blanket and an air mattress.  But the mattress leaked.

“It was like sleeping on the floor,” Fuji added.

Fortunately, an associate of Fuji’s learned of his plight and called Catholic Charities for help.

Catholic Charities Staten Island has taken a leadership role in partnering with nonprofit organizations to speed services and support to residents of this borough devastated by Hurricane Sandy.  From disaster-response professionals who visit parishes to deliver information and resources, to volunteers who collect and distribute food and supplies, to neighbors checking in on neighbors, the entire Catholic Charities community responded, providing help, creating hope and rebuilding lives.

Since Mr. Takashi’s stroke left him wheelchair bound and confused, Catholic Charities Case Manager Marvin Walker visited him in his home.  Mr. Walker helped Mr. Takashi apply successfully for a variety of grants and subsidies including new furniture from Project Hospitality, appliances from the Staten Island Back to Basics initiative, gift cards to cover necessities from the Siller Foundation, help paying heating bills from the federal Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), food stamps from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and disaster recovery financial assistance from FEMA.  He helped Mr. Takashi apply for Access-a-Ride, bus rides catered for persons with disabilities.  And he gave Mr. Takashi food from Catholic Charities food pantries along with clothing, pots, pans, utensils and other household necessities.

Meanwhile, Catholic Charities Volunteer Services paired Fuji up with Catholic Charities Anderson Avenue Senior Director Marni Caruso.  She volunteered to drive Mr. Takashi during her personal time to medical appointments and meetings with the numerous government agencies that suddenly play a large role in his life.

Fuji’s road to recovery remains long and difficult.  He has progressed from wheelchair to walker to cane.  Many memories remain hazy.  His finances remain tight.

“I never thought I would have to depend on others,” Fuji says.  “But without Catholic Charities I couldn’t have survived.”