Next week, Congresswoman Lois Capps (CA-23) will tour the Santa Barbara County Food Bank facilities in Santa Barbara and Santa Maria to highlight the negative effects that cuts to federal anti-hunger and nutrition programs recently approved by the House of Representatives would have on Santa Barbara County’s ability to combat hunger, and the burden these cuts at the federal level would have on already strained local resources. The nonprofit group “Feeding America” recently released “Map the Meal Gap”<http://feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/hunger-studies/map-the-meal-gap/map-congressional-district/~/media/Files/research/map-meal-gap/California-MMG-Congressional-District.ashx?.pdf> which reveals that 15.6 percent or 100,340 individuals in California’s 23rd Congressional district are food insecure.  Capps will visit the Santa Barbara facility on Monday and the Santa Maria facility on Wednesday.

The FY 2012 Agriculture Appropriations bill passed by the House of Representatives drastically reduces funding for nutrition programs including the Special Supplemental Nutritional Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), which provides states with food to distribute to local food banks. Under the legislation that passed the House of Representatives, TEFAP would be cut by $12 million when compared to FY 2011 levels.

Last year, the Santa Barbara County Food Bank received $73,000 in TEFAP commodities enough to __???___.

The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities has calculated that the cut in WIC funding alone, would result in between 31,800 and 55,700<http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3499> eligible women and children being turned away from the program in California alone. The WIC program serves nearly 1.5 million women, infants, and children in California every single year.

“Federal nutrition and anti-hunger programs have provided a critical safety net for those hardest hit by the recession and the most vulnerable in our communities on the Central Coast. Cutting federal nutrition programs will place additional strain on local governments and organizations like the Santa Barbara County food bank as the costs is passed along to them.  These are just the wrong priorities,” said Capps.

“The proposed cuts to emergency food supplies voted on by the House of Representatives could be potentially devastating to our community efforts to end hunger through good nutrition.  Support from the government goes a long way to supplement millions of pounds of food donated by local farmers, grocery stores and generous individuals. Cutting emergency food from the budget will prove to be shortsighted and costly-we cannot turn our backs on our most vulnerable neighbors now,”-Erik Talkin, Executive Director, Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.

After a tour of the facility, Capps, local advocates, and supporters will talk about the importance of contacting Senator Feinstein and Senator Boxer to urge them to fight these cuts in the Senate.

WHO: Congresswoman Lois Capps
Erik Talkin, Executive Director, Foodbank of Santa Barbara County
Representative from the Santa Barbara County WIC program
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WHAT: Visit Santa Barbara County Food Bank facilities in Santa Barbara and Santa Maria to talk about effects of cuts to federal anti-hunger and nutrition programs

WHEN: Santa Barbara
Monday, June 27
11:00 AM-12:00 PM

Santa Maria
Wednesday, June 29
11:00 AM-12:00 PM

WHERE: Santa Barbara
454 Hollister Avenue
Santa Barbara

Santa Maria
490 West Foster Road
Santa Maria

Gina Fischer

Development Officer

Foodbank of Santa Barbara County

805-967-5741 x 108

Foodbanksbc.org

—$10 provides 40 nutritious meals to children & families in need.  Text FOOD10 to 85944 and reply ‘yes’ to contribute $10—