May 17, 2018
Proposed federal work requirements for SNAP benefits are too harsh and will leave people hungry
By Chris Bernard, Eileen Bradshaw, Courtney Cullison and Katie Fitzgerald
SNAP is the largest and most effective anti-hunger program in America, and its benefits extend beyond those who receive monthly benefits. SNAP works, and it works well — and yet it’s under attack.
Find out about HFO’s Pilot Project. Story by OETA, featuring Chris Bernard, HFO Executive Director, as well as OSDE and Tahlequah Public Schools.
Chris Bernard, HFO Executive Director, speaks on an Oklahoma Watch Out panel on the impact of hunger in Oklahoma.
Hunger Free Oklahoma in the News.Read news coverage highlighting Hunger Free Oklahoma team members and work.
“Local coder Vic Agbasi discovered a need in the fight to combat hunger in Oklahoma. …he met a representative from Hunger Free Oklahoma, who expressed a need for increasing the visibility of the summer meals program.”
Press Release: White House Budget Proposal puts hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans at risk of hunger, takes money away from local economies, drastically reduces the effectiveness of nation’s strongest public-private partnership.
The following statement has been issued by Hunger Free Oklahoma, The Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, and the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma in response to the proposed budget released by the White House.
Hunger by the numbers. “nearly one in four Oklahoma children (24 percent) is food insecure, meaning they have limited or inconsistent access to adequate food.”
Chris Bernard: Oklahoma, your friends and neighbors are hungry, and you can do more to deal with it, Tulsa World
One in four children in Oklahoma is hungry. One in six Oklahoma households experiences hunger. Oklahoma is last in the nation at feeding children over the summer. These aren’t just statistics; these are your friends and neighbors unable to access a basic human need.
“For example, about 80 percent of those eligible to take part in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) actually do so. Pushing that to 100 percent would translate to $227 million in federal funds being reimbursed to Oklahoma.”
“All of these things sort of add up and compile to have major negative impacts on our state outcomes in academic achievement, economic performance,” Bernard said.
Oklahoma Watch will sponsor a free “Oklahoma Watch-Out” public forum in Oklahoma City on May 3 on the issue of hunger in the state and whether the problem is getting worse.
“Officials announced Tuesday that next school year, all 44,000 students will be eligible for free meals at every school site, via USDA’s Community Eligibility Provision.”
Hunger in the News.Read news coverage about hunger issues, opportunities, and improvements affecting Oklahomans.
The Tulsa Economic Development Corp. has been awarded a $1.5 million federal grant through the city of Tulsa to build a grocery store at the Shoppes on Peoria, 1717 N. Peoria Ave.
Access to affordable groceries just got a whole lot easier for many residents in northeast Oklahoma City. A new Save-A-Lot will provide access to fresh foods for many in one of Oklahoma City’s food deserts, an area where many low-income residents are living more than a mile from the nearest grocery store. The store is owned by a group of military veterans who open stores in similar need-based locations across the country.
Propel introduced an app that allows people receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)–the official name for the food stamp program– to check their balances over their smart phones, do budgeting and look for discounts at stores.
“The most difficult thing a man has to do is ask for help. It hurts,” Parker said. “When someone helps you, you don’t forget it. I will be paying it forward. It won’t take me long to get back on my feet. It’s all coming together now, but it’s taken a long time to get here. I just have to have a little money to get by right now.”
Imagine that on a Saturday afternoon this fall, everyone who experienced food insecurity in Oklahoma were all invited down to Norman and Stillwater to attend football games.
SNAP helped 874,873 Oklahomans (54 percent of whom were children), or 14 percent of all Oklahoma households, feed their families.
El Reno Public Schools and Broken Arrow Public School are using food trucks to provide summer meals to kids.
“The closing of the only grocery store in a neighborhood west of downtown last month created more desolation in an already struggling area.”