*** LEGISLATIVE ALERT ***
Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program (HPNAP) funding is one of the primary sources of funding for the Food Bank of the Southern Tier and its network of hunger-relief member agencies, like food pantries and soup kitchens. The Food Bank allocates HPNAP funds to cover the cost of food for member agencies as well as provides grants to help offset the cost of staffing, operations and equipment.
On January 22, Governor Cuomo proposed a decrease in funding and a major restructuring of NYS health and anti-hunger programs. If approved, the budget would remove HPNAP as a directly funded line-item, and transition it into a “Maternal, Child Health & Nutrition” block grant category, creating potential competition among human service providers. Governor Cuomo has proposed a $13 million overall cut to these critical programs.
Restore dedicated, line-item funding for the Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program (HPNAP) at no less than the amount approved in fiscal year 2013 ($29 million).
HPNAP Supported Member Agencies - We Need Your Help!
Contact your local NYS Senator and Assemblyman and let them know how critical the program is to your agency and ask them to help restore dedicated, line-item funding for HPNAP at no less than the amount approved in FY2013.
· The need for food assistance has grown particularly since the recession and in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene and Super Storm Sandy. In 2011, HPNAP provided emergency flood relief funds to agencies located in affected areas to help meet increased demand. This level of responsiveness to community needs would not be possible if HPNAP was rolled into the block grant.
· Our agency received $____________ in HPNAP funding in FY 2012-13 and served ______ people. We could not do what we do without those funds and would have to either close our doors/serve less people/distribute less food/etc. [Agencies can contact the Agency Services & Programs Department at the Food Bank if you need the amount of your FY 2012-13 food grant and your HPNAP FY 2011-12 stats.]
· Emergency food is for everyone – old, young, man and woman – because hunger does not exclude anyone. Bundling this program into the Maternal & Child Health Block Grant distorts the purpose of emergency food and risks short changing vulnerable seniors, disabled people and others without access to needed food.
· Many of the households we serve need to access programs like WIC in order to help keep food on the table for all family members. Pitting emergency food against maternal and child health and nutrition programs will only diminish the total resources available to low-income families.
· Not only does HPNAP prevent hunger, it has been an important support for NYS agriculture, with funding dedicated to the purchase of NYS dairy and produce every year. These funds have helped our local farmers while feeding our hungry neighbors.