Connect Blog

$26.9 million in grant funds will be distributed among eight grantees to continue administering pilots of the Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer for Children (Summer EBT) programs, providing summertime nutrition assistance to children who receive free and reduced price meals during the school year. These grants will extend benefits to new rural areas, Tribal Nations, and areas of extreme need including Flint, Michigan. Summer EBT provides a monthly benefit on a debit-type card that can be used throughout the summer for food purchases at authorized stores. Summer EBT is a complement to traditional summer meals programs, which offer no cost summer meals at approved sites, and is especially valuable in areas with limited or no access to traditional summer meals programs.The Obama administration also shared its plan to include a provision in the president's 2017 budget, which would allocate $12 billion over 10 years to the Summer EBT program.  

Summer EBT, which is currently operating as demonstration project, was first funded by Congress in 2010. Rigorous evaluations of these pilots found that Summer EBT can significantly reduce very low food security among children, the most severe form of food insecurity, by one-third. Studies also showed that these additional resources enabled families to eat more healthfully, eating significantly more fruits and vegetables and whole grains – key building blocks to better health. Based on these proven successes, the President's proposed plan would allow Summer EBT to reach nearly 20 million children once fully implemented.

Bill Ayres, Co-founder and Ambassador of WhyHunger, supports the program: "Some years ago as Executive Director of WhyHunger, I met with senators and USDA officials about this very idea - that is, to run a pilot program to feed hungry children during the summer when they do not receive school lunch and breakfast.  It was really a simple idea.  Additional funds are added to the family's SNAP Card each month when the children are not in school.  Though it's many years since that first meeting when the idea was proposed, I'm so pleased to see that there are now bills in Congress to grow the program nationally and President Obama has put it in the budget for a major increase. WhyHunger supports the growth of this program and encourages people and organizations to promote much needed food for our country's poorest children."
 
This year's grantees include Cherokee Nation, Chickasaw Nation, Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, and Oregon. The aim is to serve over 250,000 children total, nearly 90 percent more, or over 120,000 additional children, than in 2015. Read the rest of the press release here.

This post first appeared in The Huffington Post. “It’s the economy stupid.” “End welfare as we know it.” These two quotes from the era of President Bill Clinton summarize two of what supporters and even many critics say were his two greatest domestic policy accomplishments. The economy certainly improved dramatically during his tenure. The late 90s did “lift all economic boats” including the tiny rowboats of the poor. Unemployment was 7.5 in 1992 the year before Clinton took office and plummeted to 4.0 by the end of his tenure. During that time 23.9 million jobs were created, more living wage jobs than...
Last week, we celebrated the critical donations of time and talent that so many give to WhyHunger and our partner organizations each year as part of National Volunteer Week. This week, we are lifting up the importance of volunteers once again in this Q&A with Kate Cahill, Board of Trustees and Treasurer at MEND, Meeting Emergency Needs with Dignity. Why is MEND volunteer run? MEND is a coalition of 16 food pantries across Essex County, NJ, and each of those pantries, which are based in houses of worship, are run almost entirely by volunteers. Historically, much food pantry work has been volunteer-based,...
WhyHunger’s Community Partnerships Manager Suzanne Babb, recently spoke at Wholesome Wave’s Transforming Food Access Summit about the role and limitations of existing nutrition incentive programs to address the unequal access to good, fresh, affordable healthy food and the poor health outcomes that some communities experience as a result. Here is an excerpt from her remarks: Let’s start with a provocative question: Is providing access to healthy food enough to address the food insecurity and poor health outcomes that have become so entrenched in certain communities? We must first ask why do these inequities exist in the first place?  Why do some communities have...
I had the pleasure of getting to know Norah Mlondobozi when she visited the WhyHunger office and we became roommates as we participated in the U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance (USFSA) Assembly held last fall in Iowa for a few days. Norah is a member of the Rural Women’s Assembly (RWA), which is a coalition of rural women in southern Africa organizing and advocating on the issues that impact them including land rights, xenophobia, violence against women and more. As Norah shared her story what immediately stood out for me are the similar struggles Blacks face whether here in the US or...
“Land is life,” say peasant farmers. Of course, food and water come from the land, but for the billions of peasants who survive from the land, this is not just an abstract statement. Losing their land – often evicted and displaced violently by police or paramilitary gangs to make way...

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As part of our donor series to show appreciation to some our valued supporters, today we meet Gail Weisgrau and Gregory DeRespino. Join us in celebrating them and the good they do by contributing to their communities and the work of WhyHunger. Greg, tell us a little about yourself. There are those...

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On Thursday, March 24, Malik “Phife Dawg” Taylor of the influential hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest, passed away after a decades-long struggle with diabetes. A Tribe Called Quest (or just “Tribe”) broke new ground in hip-hop in the early 1990s with clever, fun, Afrocentric lyrics and a conscious love for...

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This Q & A with WhyHunger’s Beatriz Beckford, was written by the Community Food Centres Canada and originally published on their blog.  Beatriz Beckford is a force in the movement for American food sovereignty. As Director of the Grassroots Action Network (GAN) at US-based WhyHunger, Beatriz creates vital alliances and coalitions...

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This is the first article of the series “People’s Agroecology,” written by Blain Snipstal, a returning generation farmer part of the Black Dirt Farm Collective in Maryland. As part of the continuation of the 2015 Campesino a Campesino Agroecology Encounter led by farmworkers in the US, Blain visited four leading...

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