The SNAP Cutoff
Starting November 1st, 2013, 23 million low-income households will experience a sudden and detrimental reduction in their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) benefits. This is because the increase in benefits created by the American Recovery Reinvestment Act (ARRA) in 2009 is set to expire.
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the ARRA boost “increased SNAP maximum monthly benefits by 13.6% beginning in April 2009” in order to stimulate the economy and ease the hardship felt by millions of Americans struggling to put food on the table during the recession. The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) reported in January 2013 that this temporary increase “helped reduce food insecurity by 2.2 percentage points and reduce very low food insecurity by 2.0 percentage points among low-income households between December 2008 (pre-ARRA) and December 2009 (about eight months post-ARRA).”
Equal Pay for Equal Work
Fifty years ago President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law. This important piece of legislation requires employers to give women and men equal pay for equal work. In 1963, women were paid 59 cents for every dollar men were paid; today that figure is 77 cents.
While major strides have been achieved since 1963, including passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in January 2009, a lot of work still needs to be done in order to close the wage gap.
A Seder for Hungry Women and Children
Yesterday JCPA and MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger hosted the fifth annual National Hunger Seder held in the U.S. Capitol. Joined by Members of Congress, representatives of the Obama Administration, anti-hunger and anti-poverty advocates, members of the faith community, and school children, we interpreted the ancient traditions of Pesach in to learn about the stark modern day reality of hunger.
A Place at the Table
50 million people in the United States live in food insecure households. According to the United States Department of Agriculture 16.7 million children experienced hunger in 2011. But what does this really mean and who are these people? A new documentary film, called A Place at the Table (http://www.takepart.com/place-at-the-table/film), being released this Friday attempts to draw back the curtain of hunger and show the everyday struggles of American families suffering from hunger.
What the JCPA Hopes to Hear About Poverty in the State of the Union
On February 12th, President Obama will give his fourth State of the Union address. During his entire first term he only gave a passing mention to poverty and hunger in these historic addresses. Perhaps it is not a politically advised discussion. Perhaps poverty is not an uplifting topic. But it is a reality for 46.2 million people in this country and the JCPA believes it is time for the President to raise this topic to national prominence in his State of the Union.
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