As the Farm Bill moves through the Senate Agriculture Committee and eventually on to the full Senate, New York U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand leads one-third of the Senate in calling for the protection of critical food assistance, urging her colleagues not to balance the budget deficit by cutting food stamps.
The Farm Bill under consideration would slash $4.1 billion in food stamps funding over the next decade. Government statistics show that half of food stamp beneficiaries are children.
The Massachusetts Attorney General’s office is now encouraging legal organizations across the commonwealth in a food drive that aims to restock the state’s food banks at a time where donations are needed the most.
From now until May 10th, bar associations, district attorney’s offices, and other legal organizations across Massachusetts are collecting food and monetary donations as part of the 2013 Legal Food Frenzy. The statewide food donation drive is now entering its fourth year. The program is spearheaded by Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley.
Each Passover season for the past twenty one years, the Jewish residents of our region's group homes for developmentally disabled adults have been coming to our synagogue for a model Seder, or Passover meal, prior to the holiday. Our volunteers spend a long Sunday afternoon cooking, setting up our social hall, and serving between twenty five and thirty people and their overworked, underpaid aides. Over the years I have learned that some of the residents have families who look after them, yet some of them were abandoned by loved ones or forgotten in the family shuffles caused by aging, physical distance and death years ago. Their disabilities are a spectrum of severity, a variety of developmental delays, neuro-motor and communication disorders. From what their helpers tell me, our Seder is one of the highlights of their year. We welcome everyone as they come through the door. We play music and sing, we tell the story of the ancient Israelites' liberation from Egypt, we eat a nice meal together and we have fun. We are a noisy bunch performing a boisterous narrative about redemption for people whose voices, literally and symbolically, are imprisoned or extinguished.
This year is the third annual Capital Region CANstruction event and involves 10 teams challenged with building structures that would fit the Capital Region Canstruction 2013 theme of “Can You Imagine?”
Emergency Food Programs continue to struggle during a recession to feed a growing number of hungry people in our region. Activists says a new study of hunger in New York State shows that emergency food programs can ever be a substitute for increased government action to end the growing problem of hunger.
Mark Dunlea, Executive Director of the Hunger Action Network in NYS, says instead of dealing with emergencies, food pantries and soup kitchens over the last 30 years have been forced by government inaction to evolve into supplemental sources of food for households who need assistance on an ongoing basis.