Thank you to all those who helped us continue our essential work by attending The Night to Fight Hunger Virtual Gala! Your donations will help us fight hunger across our region. If you weren’t able to join us, you can watch our program onFacebook and YouTube and there is still time to bid on our featured auction items. Bidding continues until tonight at 9:00 PM! We hope you will also consider making a donation. Donations to the Gala will continue until November 30th. Donate Today!
With COVID-19 cases on the rise in our region and across the country and still no economic relief in place, we are preparing for another significant increase in the need for food resources.
Our SNAP Hotline is already experiencing a significant increase in calls. Thank you to our volunteers and SNAP Hotline Team for their hard work as they work to help individuals and families navigate the SNAP application process! Our SNAP Hotline operates Monday – Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at 215-430-0556.
After lending his talents to the anti-hunger movement for more than 30 years, Coalition Against Hunger Community Organizer Derek Felton, continues to seek out opportunities that allow him to enhance his ability to support food pantries and soup kitchens in the Philadelphia region.
For the last five weeks, Derek has been an active participant in the Bridges Out of Poverty: Strategies for Professionals and Communitiesanti-poverty training. The award-winning training developed by aha! Process, Inc. prepares participants to take on the role of facilitator so they can educate their communities about the impact and effects of poverty. “My job as a Bridges Out of Poverty facilitator is to help people understand the culture of living in poverty,” Derek shares.
With COVID-19 cases spiking in many parts of the country, including our region, the economy’s slow recovery may stall further. Now that the election is behind us, members of Congress must focus their energies on passing a well-designed relief package that will lessen hardship, provide states aid, and promote a stronger recovery.
A recentreport by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provides a sobering reminder of the pandemic’s severe economic toll and lends yet more evidence of the need for urgent federal assistance to families and communities. The expiration of expanded unemployment benefits and the depletion of economic impact payments (stimulus checks) means millions of Americans have no protection from falling into poverty.
Figure 1 below illustrates HHS’ projection of a dramatic increase in poverty for the five months from Aug. – Dec. 2020. The 13.6% rate translates to 43.8 million people in poverty, 9.8 million over 2019. Figure 2 is yet another dismal reminder that communities of color and children are bearing a disproportionate share of the economic pain brought by COVID-19. Additionally, the report notes that SNAP eligibility is projected to increase by over 10%. HHS anticipates that between August and December 2020 the number of SNAP eligible persons will increase by 7.9 to 11.9 million.
Data makes it clear that far too many people in our communities cannot afford the basics, including having enough food for their families. We want to learn more about:
What those individuals have to say
Whether they know about the nutrition programs that can help
If they are aware of these programs but are having a tough time accessing them, what are the barriers?
To gather this information, we have developedthis survey, which we will be circulating with the help of many anti-hunger partners throughout PA during the month of November. Please help us get the survey out widely! To help spread the word, we have created flyers and social media posts that you can find here:Tell You Story flyer, Tell Your Story post,Your Voice flyer, andYour Voice post (the flyers have both a tech savvy QR code and old school “tear-offs” if you have the ability to post them where individuals are seeking assistance). If you have any questions about the survey or materials, please feel free to email Kathy Fisher (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jessica Hillman (email@example.com).
There is some partial good news from Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services. DHS has again received approval to issue SNAP “Emergency Allotments” (EAs) this month. The supplemental funds for November will be provided to families that do not receive the maximum SNAP benefit and will be loaded to EBT cards in the second half of the month. You can see the exact schedule on ourEA fact sheet for November. Unfortunately, DHS’ plan to issue EAs to Pennsylvania households that receive the maximum SNAP grant remains on hold despite CLS's successful legal challenge of USDA’s interpretation of the “Families First Act” (H.R. 6201). We will keep you posted on further developments.
Lastly, in a piece detailing thatDonations Can’t Keep Up with Hunger (Philadelphia Inquirer, Nov. 10), we provided a reminder that helping pantries is wonderful, but that we need to address income inequality and help people get livable wage jobs in order to truly address hunger.
We want to let you know about an important resource that could help you or someone in your community connect with crucial services during this time- Community Resource Connects. Found at communityresourceconnects.org, this platform connects “seekers” to free and low cost resources. Visit Community Resource Connects to learn about important COVID-19 updates and resources on the landing page. Then, search by zip code to be connected to resources in your area. The best part? Community Resource Connects goes beyond food, use this platform to be connected to resources including housing, utilities, counseling, medical care, and much more. Find our listing under “The Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger” and fill out a pre-screening form to be connected to our SNAP Hotline! This week, we met with Aunt Bertha, the creators of Community Resource Connects to hear about the important improvements and new functions that they will be bringing to the site in the future. We can’t wait to watch this site grow and improve to help our community!
Do you run a Community Based Organization, non-profit, or food pantry? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how you can start using Community Resource Connects today!