Hunger Alert – December 2006
- People’s State of the State rally at Capitol on Tues. Jan. 2nd at 11:45 AM
- Order your Cards to Send to Eliot Spitzer during the Holiday Season
- Join us for the HANNYS / ES2 Legislative Education and Action Day. Tues. March 13th
- Faith and Hunger Network Update – NYC Mon Dec. 11, Albany Friday Dec. 15th
- Health Care Advocates Urge Spitzer and Senate Republicans to Embrace Hospital Closing Commission’s Call for Universal Health Care
- Advocates Urge Spitzer to use TANF changes to help households escape poverty
- Hunger on the Rise
- Holiday Hunger Appeal
- Make a contribution to Hunger Action Network while shopping
- Sublease of HANNYS’ NYC Office
1. People’s State Of The State Rally At Capitol On Tues. Jan. 2nd At 11:45 AM
Hunger Action’s annual People’s State of the State rally, first started during the administration of Mario Cuomo, will urge Governor elect Eliot Spitzer to support a strong anti-hunger platform, including more funding for emergency food, raising welfare benefits, and universal health care. We also want to make TANF more supportive of education, job training and people with disabilities. Call 518 434-7371, ext 1# to help out. Speakers, music and skits will be featured.
2. Order Your Cards To Send To Eliot Spitzer During The Holiday Season
We want Hunger Action's agenda included in Gov.-Elect Spitzer's 2007-08 State of the State address and state budget proposals. We are optimistic that the new administration will be responsive to the need to end hunger in our communities. We have prepared holiday post cards to be sent to Spitzer on the themes of emergency food (HPNAP), universal health care, Food Policy Council, and a higher welfare grant. Please let me know if you would like postcards to hand out at your program in the next few weeks - at community meetings, in food bags and holiday baskets, mailings, etc. They are 4 by 6.25 inches. Call 518 434-7371, ext 1#.
3. Join Us For The HANNYS / ES2 Legislative Education And Action Day (LEAD) - Tues. March 13th
We hope next year’s state budget will reverse almost two decades of disinvestment in human service programs. Our LEAD day will be at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 85 Chestnut St, Albany. There will be a briefing at 9:30 AM, a rally at noon, and lobby visits from 1 to 4 pm. Key issues for the ES2 agenda include income security for all families (e.g., higher minimum wage, welfare benefits and Earned Income Disregard); universal health care; developing a strong and educated workforce for New York; and job creation. More details on the ES2 agenda is in Grassroots, which you can find on our web page. www.hungeractionnys.org
4. Faith And Hunger Network Update – NYC Mon Dec. 11, Albany Friday Dec. 15th
There will be briefings on our hunger 2007 agenda for Faith leaders in NYC on Dec. 11th at noon (see details and agenda below) and on Friday Dec. 15th in Albany at noon at First Lutheran Church, 646 State St. The annual Faith and Hunger Network conference will be in Wappinger Falls on Sunday Feb. 11th and tentatively in Albany on Sunday Feb. 25th.NYC event: Mon Dec 11 at noon. Church of St. Paul & St. Andrew, 265 West 86th Street, Manhattan. (Take the Broadway-7th Avenue Local (1) train to 86th Street and walk 1 block to West End Avenue. The Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew will be to the right.) Agenda: 1. Short intro to Faith and Hunger Network; 2. What New Opportunities to End Hunger are presented by Spitzer Administration? How do we seize them?; 3. Overview of 2006 Anti-hunger issues a) Anti-Hunger Policy Platform for New York State and City – Aine Duggan, Food for Survival; b) Raising the welfare grant – Mark Dunlea, Hunger Action Network; c) Bread for the World Offering of Letters - farm bill – Derrick Boykin, Bread for the World; 4. Updates from other NYC faith anti-hunger initiatives; 5. Do we want to do a NYC Faith anti-hunger conference this spring?
5. Health Care Advocates Urge Spitzer And Senate Republicans To Embrace Hospital Closing Commission’s Call For Universal Health Care
Health care advocates are calling upon Governor-Elect Eliot Spitzer and the State Legislature to embrace the recommendation by the Commission on Health Care Facilities in the 21st Century to move to universal health care in New York. Earlier this year, the State Assembly, with near unanimous support by both Democrats and Republicans (135-1 vote), agreed to establish a Commission (A6575) to study how New York could most cost- effectively set up a system to provide health care to all New York residents. Senate Health Committee Chairperson Kemp Hannon refused to move the bill, however, on the grounds that he wanted the Hospital Structuring Commission to finish its work first. Now that the Commission has issued the report, Sen. Hannon could move the Commission bill at the special legislative session on Dec. 13th.A Zogby International interactive poll of 1,200 New York residents in May 2006 found that by almost 3 to 1 (67.3% to 23.6%), New Yorkers support having the state invest $500,000 in “a study of the most cost effective ways to provide quality health care for all, looking at models like Canada as well as private sector approaches such as employer mandates, tax credits and Medical Savings Accounts.”The Commission on Health Care Facilities in the 21st Century on universal health care recommended that “New York should strive for health coverage that is universal, continuous, affordable to individuals and families, and affordable and sustainable for society at large. New York should study coverage expansion efforts in other states and adopt additional strategies to sustain its recent progress in reducing the number of uninsured New Yorkers. The uninsured remains one of the most serious and persistent health care problems both in the nation and New York. The United States is the only wealthy industrialized nation that does not provide universal health insurance coverage. Nearly one in five non-elderly individuals in the US and NY State lack health care coverage. The Institute of Medicine estimates that lack of health insurance causes roughly 18,000 unnecessary deaths very year (nationally).”
6. Advocates Urge Spitzer To Use TANF Changes To Help Households Escape Poverty
Sign onto a letter to Governor-Elect Spitzer with TANF implementation recommendations that were developed by a coalition of groups, including Hunger Action, concerned with welfare policy. The recommendations provide the state with options for greatly improving TANF implementation in New York. Click here to read the letter and sign-on form. Below is a summary. The Department of Health and Human Services recently issued interim final rules on TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) which implement the changes to welfare included in the federal Deficit Reduction Act in 2005. New York is facing key choices as the state decides the next direction for our TANF programs. The federal regulations substantially increase the proportion of assistance recipients who must participate in work activities for a specified number of hours each week. It is anticipated that the caseload reduction credit will decrease New York’s participation rate from 50% to 44% for FY 2007. It is estimated that we are currently at about a 37% statewide participation rate. This means that we will need to have a monthly average of 7,000 – 10,000 additional TANF recipients in federally countable activities or else face possible federal penalties.Meeting the increased requirement will be challenging and will require increased investments in welfare-to-work programs and work supports. Advocates strongly urge the new administration to meet the state’s increased work participation rates in ways that improve families’ employment outcomes and well-being by improving the quality of their welfare-to-work programs, increasing engagement in those programs, and extending supports to low-income working families. We are very concerned that the state and local departments of social services may look to alternative punitive measures to meet the work rates, even if it hurts families and even if it would not increase the rate as much as appropriately engaging these individuals.
7. Hunger On The Rise
New York had 10.4 percent of people living in households that were considered to be food insecure from 2003-05, according to the U.S. Dept. of Agricultures annual report released. This was an increase of a full percentage point (9.4) from the prior average from 2000-02. USDA was widely criticized in the media for hiding “hunger” by modifying the term “food insecurity” categories to exclude the word “hunger.” Each year, the Census Bureau measures food insecurity through a series of household survey questions about the ability to obtain enough food for an active, healthy life for all members.
Among the 10.4 percent of New York State households considered to be food insecure, 3.1 percent were living in households that were considered to have “very low food security,” a new USDA term that means one or more people in the household were hungry over the course of the year because they couldn’t afford enough food.
8. Holiday Hunger Appeal
The holiday season is the one time of the year when the entire community tries to make sure that there is room at the table for all. It is the best time of the year for contributions to anti-hunger organizations. We certainly appreciate your support.Hunger however is a 365 day a year a problem. And while the Hunger Action Network works hard to increase food, funding and volunteers for area food pantries and soup kitchens, we also know that we need long term solutions such as health care for all, living wage jobs, and better access to education and job training.As we share this holiday season with our families and friend, there is hope in the air with the election of a new Governor. Our challenge is to convince our state leadership to make the commitment to end hunger.In the late seventies in America, hunger had largely disappeared as a major problem through the creation of federal nutrition programs such as food stamps, school meals and WIC. Unfortunately, the pain caused by the federal budget cuts of the early ‘80s never went away, and a new generation has now grown up where food pantries and soup kitchens are a fact of life just like the corner grocery store. If America can fly a person to the moon, we should be able to end hunger – especially when countries much poorer than us have been able to accomplish this.
To contribute, http://hungeractionnys.org/endhunger.htm
9. Make a contribution to Hunger Action Network while shopping
GreaterGood.com, Inc. makes it free and easy to support good causes through everyday Internet use. Internet users can shop at over 100 leading online merchants – including Barnes&Noble.com, Gateway, PETsMART.com, Office Deport, Brookstone, priceline, ebay, Lands' End, Dell, Office Max, and more -- and up to 15% of each purchase automatically goes to Hunger Action Network at no extra cost to you.
THANKS for your support. Just go:
10. Sublease of HANNYS’ NYC Office
Hunger Action Network has 2 office workspaces (11’ x 6’) available for immediate sublet at W. 36 Street @ 8 Ave. in Manhattan, includes use of small meeting room. $1,000/month plus half of utilities, carting and fees