Please read these questions and let us know what your organization and others in the Old Dominion are doing to move legislation and policy in a direction that helps those in need.
Virtually all states have budget deficits and extensive financial problems this year and beyond. The states are also the custodians and administrators of multi billions of dollars of federal assistance programs. State policies related to hunger and poverty contain a great deal of state money that is in short supply right now but much more federal money that can grow as the use of the programs grows.
These state policy questions are meant to begin a conversation about how states can deliver more services to their citizens who are facing extreme long term unemployment, hunger, home foreclosures and loss of health insurance and pensions.
Please read them and let us know what your organization and others in your state are doing to move legislation and policy in a direction that helps those in need, especially the poorest of the poor, the millions of new poor, seniors, returning vets, children and the homeless.
Our intention is to create a place on our website that will highlight policy actions that state based organizations are taking and how they are proceeding. We also hope to host a WhyHunger State Policy Award for the best state policies in the U.S.A.
hat other statewide policies or programs are you aware of that are helping to fight hunger and poverty, or are there any that are responsible for increasing it?
1) There is a 2.5% tax on food in Virginia. Most states exempt food products from sales tax. Is there any effort to repeal this tax?
2) 13.3% of taxpayers receive federal EITC. This is below the national average of 15%. Is any effort being made to increase EITC among Virginia residents?
3) 7.6% of the state budget is spent on corrections. This is quite high and above the national average of 6.6%. Is anything being done to reduce the cost of corrections in Virginia such as alternative sentencing for non-violent offenders or programs to reduce recidivism?
4) The WIC monthly benefit is the 3rd lowest in the country. Is there any movement to increase the WIC benefit?
5) There is no WIC Farmers’ Market Program in Virginia. Why is that? Is there any action to bring this program to Virginia?
6) The infant mortality rate is far above the national average. Is there anything being done to reduce the infant mortality rate?
7) The percent of eligible people receiving unemployment insurance is among the lowest in the country. Is there any effort being made to increase the percent of people receiving unemployment insurance?
8) Only 13% of 4 year olds are enrolled in State Pre-K. This is nearly half the national average. Is there any effort being made to increase the number of 4 year olds in State Pre-K?
9) What other statewide policies or programs are you aware of that are helping to fight hunger and poverty, or are there any that are responsible for increasing it?
Please let us know what your organization and others in your state are doing to move legislation and policy in a direction to address these questions by contacting Executive Director and Co-Founder Bill Ayres at [email protected].
Feel free to inform us of any mistakes we may have made in any of these questions. Also we would appreciate any comments on policies or statistics that might have been overlooked.