D.C. Hunger Solutions Sponsors Food Stamp Challenge to Take Place Oct 9-15
City Leaders and Anti-Hunger Groups Bring Awareness to the Challenges of Hunger and Poverty Facing Many in D.C.
For Immediate Release
Contact: Kirsten Bokenkamp, firstname.lastname@example.org; 202-986-2200 x3974 or 202-957-6611
Washington, D.C. – October 9, 2012 – City leaders and anti-hunger advocates are joining D.C. Hunger Solutions Director Alex Ashbrook in the Food Stamp Challenge during the week of October 9-15. Participants taking the week-long challenge have pledged to spend the average D.C. food stamp benefit - $30 a week, or $4.28 a day – as their total budget for groceries for the week.
Taking the Challenge with D.C Hunger Solutions are city leaders Ariana Quinones-Miranda of the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services, Director David Berns of the D.C. Department of Human Services, Executive Director John Thompson of the D.C. Office on Aging, and D.C. Councilmember Mary Cheh. Participating organizations include Bread for the City, Defeat Poverty D.C., D.C. Greens, D.C. Fair Budget Coalition, Catholic Charities of the Archidiocese of Washington, Capital Area Asset Builders, and Washington Area Women’s Foundation. And the Challenge is spanning the region. Maryland Hunger Solutions, the sister organization of D.C. Hunger Solutions, is hosting a Challenge at the same time. Together, there will be more than 200 participants across the area.
“In a city of so much affluence, it is important to remember that there are many residents who are struggling to put food on the table on a weekly basis,” said Councilmember Cheh. “I am hoping that my small role in the SNAP Challenge will raise awareness of the plight of our neighbors and the need for this program.”
“I am up to the SNAP Challenge in support of the many senior citizens in the District of Columbia who rely on SNAP benefits and our homebound and congregate meal sites to survive,” said John M. Thompson, Ph.D., FAAMA, executive director, D.C. Office on Aging. "In addition, many persons living with disabilities are not able to work or provide for themselves and are also participants of this beneficial program.”
According to Census data, nearly 19 percent of D.C. residents – and nearly one in three children – are living in poverty. Recent USDA data show that one in eight households struggle with hunger. Yet, there are some in Congress who are proposing cuts to SNAP that would reduce benefits for many and move many others out of the program altogether.
“SNAP is making a huge difference to those who have the least, and cutting this program would be devastating for our vulnerable neighbors – children, working poor, and seniors,” said Ashbrook. “With this Challenge, we hope to shed a light on the struggles facing many in Washington, D.C. and the need to strengthen – not weaken – food stamps so they can be an even stronger support for low-income households.”
Participants in the challenge will be documenting their experiences on D.C. Hunger Solutions’ website.
A recent poll released by the Food Research and Action Center shows a vast majority of Americans overwhelmingly oppose any cuts to SNAP.