Great progress and positive efforts are underway to be able to provide enough food for those who are food insecure in our communities.
As a special feature for our Friday, August 10th meeting Ashley St. Thomas of the Association of Arizona Food Banks and Keith Brekus of Congressman Tom O’Halleran’s office spoke about the current status of the Farm Bill.
Mr. O’Halleran was appointed to the Farm Bill Conference Committee charged with the task of reconciling differences between the friendly Senate version and the hostile House version. We made our voices heard regarding proposed SNAP budget cuts!
Discussion from Congressman O’Hallaran’s Representatives and Ashley Thomas for the Arizona Association of Foodbanks:
The Farm Bill, which governs the SNAP Program, has to be renewed before September 30, 2018. Much of the changes that the House of Representatives want to make will impact work requirements. Discussion was related to the individual states to be able to maintain flexibility with work requirements, especially in rural areas such as Yavapai County.
The House Proposal would increase the age of work requirement by 10 years, include parents of children over six years old, and must work, or participate in work training for at lease 20 hours per week to receive SNAP benefits. It would also greatly increase sanctions for non-work compliance.
Discussion from St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry
Ray West and Maureen Koza – St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry can feed up to 200 people, which is 50 more than originally discussed. He said no one is turned away. They also have a fund to help clients financially.
Still waiting on St Mary’s to begin delivering to St Vincent de Paul.
Village of Oak Creek Church of the Nazarene
Jim Cunningham also stated that no one is turned away from the Manzanita Outreach pop up pantry that is at the church twice a month. They also have an emergency food pantry. He has been serving 40 + people and could serve 80 to 100 more.
Also stated that he is a contact person for Big Park Coordinating Council and the Rotary Club.
Sedona Community Supper – St. Andrews Episcopal Church
Annette Pettit –
Yavapai County Community Health Services
Nancy Gottschalk – Spoke about mapping and harvesting fruit and nut trees in Cottonwood.
Cornucopia Community Advocates Food Recovery Verde Valley
Leslie Fox –
Arizona Food Market Alliance
Tim Thomas spoke about the impact of the SNAP changes on Arizona grocery stores. Also talked about food recovery from grocery stores.
City of Sedona
Mayor Sandy Moriarty – Full support
Yavapai Food Council
Harvey Grady and Maggie Fega spoke of the changes to the Council’s Programs and how they intend to continue those programs in Yavapai County.
Cornucopia Community Advocates
Harvey Grady mentioned a potential new program called CACFP (Child and Adult Care Food Program), which would have no school seasonal limits while helping to feed people of all ages.