VALLEY — As Hunger Education Week continues, La Puente is seeking to help educate the community on the many ways they can help fight hunger. Whether it be local food pantries or government programs, there are opportunities to help those in need make sure they can fill their stomachs without having to sacrifice other necessities.
Nationally the largest and most significant hunger-relief program is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). It was first introduced as part of the Welfare Reform act in 1996, as a reform to the food stamp program. For the past two decades it has been the largest government program that attempts to combat hunger in this country. It does so by providing funds specifically for food-based purchases based upon family need which they can then use at any participating grocery store.
One of the most effective and proven ways of beginning to lift individuals experiencing hunger out of poverty and provide them with access to the nutritious food they need is use of federal food support programs like SNAP and the Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC). With some of the highest enrollment rates in the state, these programs are crucial to the well-being of residents of the San Luis Valley.
SNAP also serves as an economic stimulus overall yielding $9 in total economic activity from every $5 of benefits. In the San Luis Valley, SNAP has over $27.5 million in economic stimulus. However, in recent days the current administration has proposed a bill that would cut funding to this program exponentially now, and in the future.
The next event in the Hunger Education Week series will cover this and other changes to federal and state hunger relief programs and what hunger advocates can do to support programs that fight hunger. To learn more about policy issues, engage with other hunger advocates, and share a beer attend The Hunger Advocacy Happy Hour at Square Peg Brewerks, Thursday, April 24, from 4-6 p.m. For more information please call the La Puente Office of Community Education at 719-587-3499 or email [email protected]