SHAHEEN: WE MUST PROTECT SNAP BENEFITS, SUPPORT EFFORTS OF NH FOOD BANK

October 25, 2013

In Manchester, Shaheen notes 1 out of 9 New Hampshire Households Struggle to Afford a Nutritionally Adequate Diet 

Shaheen Calls to Protect and Strengthen Critical Programs for Vulnerable New Hampshire Families and Children 

(Manchester, NH) With one in nine individuals food insecure in New Hampshire, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) visited the New Hampshire Food Bank in Manchester this morning to discuss efforts to fight hunger and protect the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP provides critical nutrition assistance to nine percent of New Hampshire households.

“The work being done here at the New Hampshire Food Bank is incredibly important to so many Granite Staters,” Shaheen said. “It’s wrong that one out of nine Granite Staters, including 40,000 children, don’t have access to  enough food to lead a healthy life. We have to do better and that starts with protecting and strengthening programs like SNAP for families and children across New Hampshire.”

Shaheen is part of a Senate coalition opposing drastic cuts to SNAP that would prevent millions of children, seniors, and families from accessing nutritious food, including hundreds of thousands of low-income children from accessing school meals. SNAP is increasingly important as the closure of several supermarkets in New Hampshire, which are a major source of donations to the food bank, is estimated to result in the loss of 800,000 meals.

During her tour of the facilities Shaheen met with volunteers and was briefed on the Food Bank’s Culinary Job Training Program which helps individuals suffering financial hardship gain necessary skills and experience to seek employment in the food service industry.

As the only food bank in the state, the NH Food Bank is the key distributor and supplier to the hunger relief agencies that serve meals and provide groceries to people who do not have enough to eat. On average these agencies receive 40% of their food from the NH Food Bank. In 2012, the NH Food Bank distributed 8,403,872 pounds of food.

Senator Shaheen donated her salary during the recent government shutdown to the New Hampshire Food Bank.