As we imagine what the holidays will look like this year during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Coalition staff and board want each of your families to stay safe. Though socially distant practices are in place and cases are once again increasing across the country, we hope you can still enjoy the approaching festive season. Please review the CDC COVID-19 Safety steps for Thanksgiving and theCity of Philadelphia “safer at home” restrictions that are effective today, November 20, 2020, and will continue until January 1, 2021.
Our advocacy team has developed a Food Insecurity survey to document the experiences of our neighbors who are fighting hunger. If you or anyone in your community has or is experiencing hunger, please share your story and encourage them to share theirs (you can choose whether to provide your name or not!). Every voice deserves to be heard!
We are still accepting donations for theNight to Fight Hunger Virtual Gala until November 30th. Please support our work to end hunger in the Philadelphia region! As the holidays approach and the spread of the coronavirus continues, more and more people are in need of emergency food and food resources. You can help us make a difference...DONATE TODAY!
The Coalition staff, especially the development and communications teams would like to give a special thanks to our Gala Events Intern, Emily Gigliotti! Her tireless efforts and talent were essential for the successful planning and execution of our Gala. Thank you Emily, we wish you the absolute best of luck on all your future endeavors, we know you will be a success!
Food Pantry & Soup Kitchens
We are thankful for the dedicated group of food pantries and soup kitchens that participate in our Food Rescue Program. Throughout this pandemic they have faithfully picked-up food so they can continue to provide quality foods to their guests. We are happy to share for the month of October, they rescued 17,350 pounds of food, 1400 pounds of water, but most importantly, these products reached 1970 people in 670 households in the Philadelphia area. If you have any questions, please reach out to Derek Felton at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our SNAP Hotline continues to experience an increase in calls. Thank you to our volunteers and SNAP Hotline Team for their tireless efforts to support individuals and families as they navigate the SNAP application process! Our SNAP Hotline operates Monday – Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at 215-430-0556.
If you feel you have been discriminated against during a call with the County Assistance office you can review:how to file a client complaint and thecomplaint procedures. To request the Statement of Complaint form by mail call the Professional Compliance Office Hotline at 1-800-822-2113 (if you are calling from within Pennsylvania).
Listing (phone numbers and address) of all Philadelphia County Assistance offices. Note, however, when calling it is often quicker to contact the Customer Service Center at 215-560-7226 (Philadelphia) or 877-395-8930 (statewide).
Time is running out to file for an Economic Impact Payment (EIP or stimulus check)! As you may remember, anyone who did not file a tax return in 2018 or 2019 did not receive an EIP automatically in the spring, and needs to file onlineto receive those dollars. The deadline to file for an EIP is TOMORROW, November 21st at 3pm! Before this deadline, please spread the word and remind your friends, neighbors, and community. If you need more information or assistance, see ourflyer, or follow along with our instructional video. Together, we can make sure that everyone is able to take advantage of this needed resource!
Policy and Advocacy
We could again provide details from yet moreresearch and analysisthat demonstrate the devastating health and economic hardships that continue to unfold as the pandemic and safety measures have forced additional school and business closures. But this week, we will limit ourselves to just one shocking statistic:
That jarring point alone provides inspiration for ACTION. Critical help provided by the federal government through the CARES Act — such as expanded unemployment and assistance to state and local governments — are set to expire at the end of the year. Congress must act to prevent even greater hardship – both to lessen the risk of hunger and homelessness for millions of individuals and families and fend off further damage to the economy. PLEASE usethis link from the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center (PBPC) to write a letter to Senator Toomey to demand he support a comprehensive COVID-19 relief package. (Note, it’s already clear that Senator Casey supports this approach.)
We thank those of you who saw our social media posts yesterday and participated in the National Low Income Housing Coalition's Call-in Day for a comprehensive COVID-19 relief package (recognition ofHunger & Homelessness Awareness Week). If you missed it, there is still time to make your voice heard! Negotiations are expected to intensify after Thanksgiving on both COVID relief and government funding (the current Continuing Resolution funding the federal government expires on Dec. 11). In addition to sending a letter (noted above), you can call Senator Toomey (see office #s below) and say:
“Hi, my name is [name] and I’m a constituent from [town]. I am calling to urge Senator Toomey to pass a comprehensive COVID-19 relief bill that protects families and communities from economic disaster. Millions of families have lost their jobs and can’t afford food, rent, and health care. Individuals and families need real, immediate help. Congress and the administration must quickly enact a strong COVIDrelief package that includes SNAP benefit boosts.”
Also consider encouraging family and friends you see over the holiday (or sadly, just talk with) to call their members of Congress as well. They can look up needed contact informationhere.
While there is much work to be done before our President-elect takes office on January 20, we at the Coalition are among the “Activists viewing Biden with Hope” (Lubrano, Alfred, Philadelphia Inquirer, November 13, 2020).
Senator Toomey Office Phone Numbers
(if the voice mailbox is full, try another office!)