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Take Action Today!
The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to take a floor vote on the House Farm Bill (H.R.2) by the end of this week (May 14, 2018)
The passage of H.R. 2 would be devastating for the 640,000 Kentuckians who receive help with their grocery bills each month through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
New restrictions and cuts to SNAP in the House Farm Bill would mean more than 9.2 billion meals will be lost over ten years for Americans struggling with hunger. It would result in tens of thousands of Kentuckians losing crucial assistance with grocery bills. Food banks can not make up the difference.
This will be our last opportunity to urge members to vote no on the legislation before the House votes.
Take action today!
Call your Representative and tell them to vote NO on cuts to SNAP!
- Dial 888-398-8702.
- Follow the prompts and enter your zip code to be connected to your Representative.
- Tell them you’re a constituent and urge them to vote NO on the Farm Bill (H.R. 2) and oppose cuts to SNAP food assistance.
Another legislative victory in the fight against hunger in Kentucky!
SRJ 218 has been enrolled and signed by the President of the Senate and by the Speaker of the House and delivered to Governor Bevin! It directs state agencies to conduct food waste analyses and identify ways to increase donations to food banks. Stay tuned as the Finance and Administration Cabinet submits a report to the Interim Joint Committee on Agriculture by October 31, 2018.
In addition, funding for the Farms to Food Banks program was protected during the 2018 Regular Session. Though the amount of funding was reduced from $1.2M to $1.0, we are grateful for the continued investment in the fight against hunger in Kentucky.
Food Donor Immunity Law Enacted
In March 2017 Governor Bevin has signed into law HB 237. It will increase resources for food banks through enhanced immunity from liability for food donors. It will also clarify date labeling of food products.
Thank you, anti-hunger advocates, for taking action against hunger!
2018 Advocacy Priorities
Click here to download a PDF of our advocacy priorities.
The Kentucky Association of Food Banks (KAFB), a Partner State Association of Feeding America, is Kentucky’s largest charitable response to hunger. Our network of 7 regional food banks and over 800 community agencies work together in successful public/private partnerships to assist 1 in 7 Kentuckians a year. KAFB members distributed 75.8 million pounds of food in FY 17, or the equivalent of 63 million meals.
We depend upon strong federal nutrition programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), child nutrition programs such as Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), and federal commodity foods through The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) and Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP). SNAP alone provides twelve times the meals enabled through the Feeding America food bank network, underscoring the significant role it plays in connecting families with meals nationwide. Food banks also need strong charitable giving incentives to invest in a robust nonprofit sector that continues to enrich communities and provide vital services. Finally, innovative state programs that strengthen Kentucky’s agricultural economy while providing food to our most vulnerable neighbors are key to the fight to end hunger in Kentucky.
KAFB urges Congress and the Kentucky General Assembly to partner with us to create programs that help increase opportunity among the neighbors we serve and that maintain the longstanding bipartisan commitment to protect anti-hunger programs from budget cuts and harmful policy changes.
Federal Policy Initiatives
- Ensure the Next Farm Bill Reduces Hunger in America: The Farm Bill sets our national food and farm policy. It supports numerous programs crucial to both the agriculture community and families who rely on federal nutrition programs. The next farm bill has enormous potential to help reduce hunger and support agriculture by:
- Protecting and Strengthening TEFAP: To enable resources needed by food banks, Congress should increase funding for TEFAP food purchases to $350 million per year and maintain TEFAP storage and distributions funds at $100 million per year.
- Support federal “Farms to Food Banks” ag surplus food donation programs: Congress should address policy and funding barriers to food donation by providing funds to support food bank partnerships with growers and producers to connect excess food with communities in need. Congress should also review Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) guidelines in order to strengthen food donation and expand access to USDA grants to ensure food donation and food banks continue to be a key component of connecting US consumers with US grown food.
- Protecting and Strengthening SNAP: SNAP is efficient and effective. It is well designed to be flexible in meeting the needs of individuals during economic or natural disasters, as well as the needs of individual states. Proposals to block grant SNAP, cap or cut funding, or otherwise restrict participation would result in millions more Americans losing food assistance.
- Ensure the Federal Budget Protects Federal Nutrition Programs: Federal nutrition programs are the essential foundation for low-income Americans to get the nutritious foods needed when they fall on hard times. Congress must protect SNAP and other critical programs like TEFAP, CSFP, and child nutrition programs to ensure they remain a resource for millions of Americans in need of food assistance, and should:
- Oppose structural changes to SNAP. SNAP lifts millions of families out of poverty, alleviates food insecurity, and has a proven cost-effective impact on the health and well-being of our most vulnerable. Proposals to block grant or make structural changes to the program would prevent it from responding effectively to fluctuations in need, and efforts to limit broad-based categorical eligibility would increase administrative costs and access barriers.
- Oppose efforts to cut nutrition programs like SNAP and TEFAP.
- Protect charitable giving incentives in any tax reform language included in a budget resolution and support modifications to tax reform law that remedy the impact on charitable giving.
- Reduce Hunger Through Federal Spending Legislation
- FY2019 appropriations legislation should support strong funding for TEFAP, including providing full funding for TEFAP food purchases at $350 million a year, and $100 million for TEFAP storage and distribution funds to support the infrastructure and distribution capacity necessary to meet need.
- FY2019 appropriations legislation should provide an increase beyond the current $236 million in funding for CSFP which provides monthly nutritious food packages to 619,000 low-income seniors. More funding is needed to meet the needs of seniors struggling with hunger. Congress should also provide additional funds to serve any new states with USDA-approved plans.
- FY2019 appropriations legislation should support the Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) funding to expand the reach of the program to children who aren’t able to access a summer feeding site.
- FY2019 appropriations legislation should provide sufficient funding for the Older Americans Act’s home-delivered and congregate meals programs.
- Protect and Strengthen Child Nutrition Programs: The federal child nutrition programs are an essential investment in the one in five children in Kentucky who face hunger. Ensuring all children have the nutritious food they need to learn, grow, and thrive is critical to our nation’s future. In addition to protecting SNAP, Congress should help maintain strong nutrition standards and efficient access to all child nutrition programs.
- Congress should protect the funding and structure of child nutrition programs in budget and spending legislation.
- We urge USDA to ensure that regulations on child nutrition programs protect and increase access for the millions of children who rely on the programs for nutritious food.
- Strengthen the Nonprofit Community in Tax Policy. Tax policy plays a key role in the fight against hunger and helps reduce food waste. Food banks rely on support from a variety of sources, including individual and corporate giving, government commodities, and donations from all segments of the food industry.
- Protect and strengthen the charitable tax deduction to ensure the ability of our network to raise needed funds and supplement vital federal programs.
- Protect and strengthen food donation tax incentives which play a powerful role in connecting excess nutritious food with people in need. Without these tax incentives, it would cost growers, retailers, and food companies more to donate food than it would to put it in a landfill.
State Policy Initiatives
KAFB supports efforts to increase the availability of nutrient-dense locally grown food to low-income Kentuckians through the Farms to Food Banks program. We support an appropriation of $1.2 million in the state budget for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Farms to Food Banks Trust Fund. The current state income tax credit for farmers who donate to nonprofit feeding programs “sunsetted” in taxable year 2017. KAFB supports the extension of the tax credit and an increase in the amount of credit from 10 percent to 20 percent.
KAFB urges the General Assembly to reject proposals to alter core policy components of the SNAP program such as requiring applicants be drug tested to receive benefits.
We oppose efforts to place a cap on itemized charitable deductions in an attempt to increase state revenue and balance the state budget.
KAFB supports efforts to establish a state earned income tax credit. The EITC is a tax credit for low- and moderate-income working families that is designed to help people afford to work by offsetting the rising costs of child care, transportation, and utilities that working families need.
Thank you for TAKING ACTION to help secure state funding for hunger relief!
The 2016-17 Kentucky state budget includes $600,000/year for the Farms to Food Banks program. Thank you for your help ensuring that Kentucky joins the ranks of other states that provide funding for hunger relief.
Tax Credit Bill Signed Into Law
Governor Beshear signed the tax credit bill for agricultural donations to food banks bill in March 2013. This important legislation will increase the amount of food available to feed hungry Kentuckians by providing an incentive for farmers to donate unmarketable agricultural products rather than disking them under in the field.
Thank you for your help contacting legislators! Thanks also to our friends at the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, Community Farm Alliance, and the Kentucky Horticulture Council for working to see this legislation enacted.
From left: Kurt Reiber, Freestore Foodbank; Don Fulford, Feeding America Kentucky’s Heartland; Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes; Tamara Sandberg, Ky Association of Food Banks; Governor Steve Beshear; Cassia Herron, Community Farm Alliance; Representative Tom McKee; Tina Garland, Ky Farms to Schools; Fred Nesler, Ky Dept of Agriculture; Bill Wickliffe, Ky Dept of Agriculture; and Heather Hyden, Community Farm Alliance.
Photo credit:Governor’s Office.
A copy of the press release is available here.
Click here to listen to coverage of the bill on Kentucky Farm Bureau’s Across Kentucky program.
Tax Check-Off Bill Signed by Governor Beshear
On April 23, 2012 Governor Beshear signed House Bill 419 into law. It will allow taxpayers to make voluntary contributions to the Farms to Food Banks trust fund by “checking off” a contribution on their state personal income tax form, starting in tax year 2013. Click here to read the text of HB 419.