Hunger costs Kansas $1.6 billion!
That cost went up on November 1, when 2009 boosts from ARRA expired and Kansas families who depended on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program saw their benefits reduced by about $33 a month.
This news is dire to the programs already serving Kansans fighting hunger, including the 20,000 citizens dealing with additional cuts.
The State wants to paint the picture that it is not really making a significant change, but that’s simply not true. Allowing the food assistance waiver to expire was another example of the Brownback administration’s incremental erosion of supports to Kansans who are struggling to make ends meet. This intentional policy change supports a misguided myth about the work ethics of low income Kansans. Community Action Agencies in our state see literally thousands of people each year who desperately want to work but who cannot find jobs with sufficient wages or decent benefits to actually lift them up on their road out of poverty. The assertion that there are Kansans currently receiving food assistance benefits but are not deserving of those benefits because they’re not working at least 20 hours per week is a demonstration that our policy makers are out of touch with reality. There are many myths about the abuse of the SNAP program, and they are conveniently addressed in this FACT SHEET from the USDA.
KACAP is a proud partner of the Kansas Action for Children, and as a network we are working to take care of the 158,000 Kansas children who are officially "food insecure". Community Eligibility for schools is one tactic that would work, and we encourage you to learn more about it at http://www.feedkansaskids.com.
At the other end of the spectrum, as many Kansas Seniors, well into their retirement years, are facing the threat of hunger. We are inspired by the research of the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger. Their latest report suggests that the declining health of our nation is due, in part, to the rise hunger it faces.
The Kansas Association of Community Action Programs presents to the public the Kansas Hunger Atlas. Because in 2014, hunger is an entirely PREVENTABLE problem. If you're interested in even more data, visit our Poverty in America page for our recommendations on the latest online interactive resources.