Action Alert – June 2005
Sen. Bruno and Hannon on the Legislative Commission on Health
creation for unemployed, underemployed and low-income New Yorkers
Please donate to Hunger Action Network’s summer appeal
Free Communities Act Introduced in Congress
Food Service Program
Justice in NYC – Tuesday, June 28th
Forum on Health Care, Thurs. June 16th at 6 PM
for Health Care Reform Starts June 11th
Action Develops Community Food Security Recommendations
Call Sen. Bruno (518 455-3191) and Hannon (518 455-2200) on the
Legislative Commission on Health Care Coverage
Legislature is set to adjourn on June 23rd. We hope they will agree
to create the Legislative Commission for Health Care Coverage (A.6575).
We have commitments from two key Senate Republicans to sponsor the
Legislative Commission on Health Coverage Reform would help New
York develop a long-term, comprehensive and cost-effective solution
to the growing costs and complexities of the state’s health
care programs, including Medicaid and long term care. The Commission
has been endorsed by more than 3 dozen Assembly members and mirrors
a successful strategy that has been utilized in other states such
as Maine, California and Maryland. Similar legislation is also
being introduced in the State Senate.
addition to calling Senate Republicans (Sen. Joe Bruno is Majority
Leader, Sen. Kemp Hannon is Health Committee Chair) , we also need
Assembly Democrats to talk to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to
make sure the commission is a major priority for the end of session.
Job creation for unemployed, underemployed and low-income New
Yorkers Hunger Action has been pushing for the commitment
of jobs for low-income residents connected to state and local
government expenditure of funding for construction projects and
for construction subsidized by government funds. We’re urging
the State Legislature and Governor to ensure job creation for
unemployed, underemployed and low-income New Yorkers in connection
with the Rebuild and Renew New York Transportation Bond Act for
$2.9 billion, the multi-year funding for transportation capital
plans, and the $250 million capital fund for public and private
colleges. This would provide jobs in the building trades industry,
along with vocational training, for many of the half million unemployed
residents, 2.8 million New Yorkers living at or below the poverty
level, and the 84,000 adults on welfare. We would revitalize the
economy of low-income communities and get decent jobs for more
people from those communities, including women and people of color.
strategy is to get the Governor and Legislature to include provisions
in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs) accompanying the funding
that would target job creation. We only have a week or so before
the MOUs are finalized. Please call, fax or email your State Representative
and the Governor to support this proposal. To send an email, click
Please donate to Hunger Action Network’s summer appeal The
struggle to end hunger in our state is not an easy one. Funding
for nonprofits from government and private foundations has plummeted
in recent years. Hunger Action has been forced to layoff a number
of staff while the problem of hunger continues to grow. Summer
is particularly a challenging time for us to make our payroll
and pay our bills.
the next few weeks, the State Legislature will be voting on whether
or not to create a Legislative Commission on Health Care Coverage
(A6575), one of our major initiatives for 2005. They will also be
deciding on several of our proposals related to job creation.
the federal level, the President wants to slash funding for many
anti-hunger and human service programs. Funding for food stamps
is threatened. President Bush is also proposing to eliminate funding
for the Community Food Nutrition Program, Hunger Action’s
only source of government funding for our work. Loss of this funding
would result in laying off two of our remaining five staff people.
of course is when many of us plant backyard gardens. We hope you
will consider planting an extra row of tomatoes, peppers and spinach
to donate to your local food pantry. You can contact our offices
to find a program near you to donate to. We are also looking for
volunteers for our vegetable garden programs in Albany and Westchester.
Hunger Free Communities Act Introduced in Congress The
Hunger Free Communities Act would commit the United States to
the goals of cutting U.S. food insecurity and hunger in half by
2010 and ending U.S. hunger by 2015, and require the U.S. Department
of Agriculture to report annually on progress toward those goals.
It includes sense of Congress language protecting the structure
and funding for the national nutrition programs. Further, it authorizes
$50 million for a grant program that would fund grassroots groups
who collaborate to develop innovative strategies to end hunger,
provide direct assistance and strengthen public programs. Finally,
it authorizes collection of hunger data at the county level.
Richard Durbin (D-IL), Gordon Smith (R-OR), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR)
and Richard Lugar (R-IN) introduced the Senate Bill (S.1120). The
leader sponsors of HR 2717 are Reps. Tom Osborne (R-NE) and Jim
McGovern (D-MA), co-chairs of the House Hunger Caucus.
SUMMER FOOD SERVICE PROGRAM, Food That’s In When School Is
Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) offers free meals to children
18 years of age and younger during the summer months. The program
is a great resource of nutritious food for all children. There are
no income or residency requirements for children to participate.
However, there are many children who are not benefiting from the
program. Please encourage the children in your community to participate!
To locate a site in your community or for further information, please
contact the NYS Growing Up Healthy Hotline toll-free at 1-800-522-5006.
a Site Sponsor! Schools, youth and recreation centers, community
organizations, EFPs, non-profits, and camps can become a site
sponsor. SFSP generates money within communities! Each sponsor
receives a set rate of reimbursement from the USDA for the meals
that are served. The reimbursement can also cover operational
and administrative expenses, such as staff and rental costs. Contact
Hunger Action to receive more information about the program.
Food Justice in NYC – Tuesday, June 28th - 2:30 pm - 6:30
free meeting at Hudson Guild’s Fulton Center, 119 Ninth Ave.
(at 18th St) in Manhattan will explore a range of food issues that
affect all members of our community. This includes the increasing
levels of obesity, the low access to quality supermarkets in many
inner city neighborhoods, and the increase in demand for food at
Emergency Food Programs. Please join us to help build a local food
system that ends hunger and poverty while supporting locally grown,
healthy food by strategizing about ways to increase Food Justice
in NYC. Food Justice, also known as community food security, is
an approach to ending hunger that not only seeks to provide people
with food, but also examines where the food is coming from, if it
is healthy, how it is grown, and how easily people can access that
food. Attendees will explore the concept of Food Justice, learn
about existing Food Justice projects and resources, and strategize
together on how we can foster community and government solutions
to food issues. We will also be gathering your feedback into a Food
Justice policy agenda for New York. All are welcome to attend!
Troy Forum on Health Care, Thurs. June 16th at 6 PM
community forum on universal health care will be held on Thursday,
June 16th at 6 PM at the First United Presbyterian Church, 1915
5th Ave., Troy. The forum would be an opportunity to discuss how
New York could best provide quality, affordable health care to all
of its residents. Sen. Bruno has been invited to attend or to send
a staff representative. A major focus of the forum will be a proposal
pending before the NYS Legislature to create a Legislative Commission
on Health Care Coverage (A6575 – Gottfried).
forum is cosponsored by Hunger Action Network of NYS, Physicians
for a National Health Program - Capital District, Albany Presbytery,
First United Presbyterian Church, Faith and Hunger Network, Capital
District Worker Organizing Center, Troy Area United Ministries
and NY Universal Health Care Options Campaign.
Walk for Health Care Reform Starts June 11th
Sat. June 11th, Citizens For Universal Healthcare, is sponsoring
a mass rally to kick-off a statewide march for the much needed
reform of our state and national health care system. The rally,
to be held at the Academy Green on Albany Ave. in Kingston (across
from the Gov. Clinton Hotel) will begin at 10:00 AM. The route
we will take is from Kingston, to Delhi, Oneonta, Norwich, Cinncinatus,
Cortland, Ithaca, Watkins Glen, Elmira, Corning, Bath, Hornell,
Cuba, Olean, Salamanca and Jamestown.
time for action is now: with the proposal for New York to set
up a commission to study a health care plan for NY, a re-introduction
of the Gottfried bill for universal health care, cuts in Medicaid,
concerns about the Prescription Drug Law, and of course the need
to reform New York's very dysfunctional health care system. If
you would like to join us for part of this walk, would like to
help organize an event for this or have contacts in any of these
communities please call us Rebecca Elgie -(607)272-0621 Or Bernie
Fetterly cell 273-1622 or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hunger Action Develops Community Food Security Recommendations
a grant from the Jessie Noyes Smith Foundation, Hunger Action Network
has developed a number of policy recommendations for community food
security. We recently presented testimony at a joint Assembly Hearing
convened by the Task Force on Food, Farm and Nutrition Policy. A
main priority it to re-establish a NYS Council on Food and Nutrition
Policy to coordinate state efforts. The background paper will be
posted on our website shortly.
a community food system, food is grown, produced, processed and
disposed at a local level. Since locally produced and distributed
food reduces dependence on long-distance food sources, a community
food system increases community self–sufficiency. A community
food system has the potential to promote ecologically friendly
food cultivation methods and encourage community development.
Such a system can also have a significant impact on economic development
because it creates locally based employment and provides opportunities
for people to raise themselves out of poverty.