Wednesday, April 13, 2011
4/14: Join Other New Mexicans in National Fast to Protest Federal Budget Cuts
The New Mexico Collaboration to End Hunger and the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty released a statement today announcing they have joined other hunger relief and policy organizations throughout the United States in a national hunger fast to object to proposed cuts to federal programs that provide food and other assistance to millions of Americans at risk of hunger.
The Collaboration, the Center on Law and Poverty and New Mexicans throughout the state will participate in a day-long fast on Thursday, April 14th, in support of the national Hunger Fast, which began on March 24th and will continue through April 24th. This action attempts to save programs Congress is considering cutting that help low- and moderate-income New Mexicans meet basic needs such as putting food on the table.
“New Mexicans are choosing to fast because they are witness to the food insecurity many families in their community experience, they believe that food security is a basic human right and they strongly oppose federal budget cuts that further compromise that right,” Meghann Dallin, manager of the New Mexico No Kid Hungry Campaign, NM Collaboration to End Hunger said.
On April 5, 2011, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) unveiled the House Republican budget proposal for FY2012. The cuts included in the proposal will reduce food and other assistance available to the more than 45 million people in the United States living in poverty, including 15 million children.
In New Mexico, the budget cuts will have a devastating impact on the over 350,000 New Mexicans already living in poverty, including over 128,000 children, the organizations explained. More than 420,000 New Mexicans are already experiencing hunger; the budget cuts will push even more New Mexicans into hunger and place additional strain on families who are already struggling with unemployment and increasing food and energy costs.
Included in the House Republican budget is a proposed funding overhaul that would cripple the most effective anti-hunger program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program). This program has safeguarded against hunger for 40 years. Currently, over 400,000 New Mexicans rely on this program to keep food on the table during these difficult economic times.
“At the very time when more New Mexicans are reaching out for help, Congress is proposing significant cuts to vital safety net programs that ensure children and their families do not fall into deep poverty,” Patricia Anders, Staff Attorney, NM Center on Law and Poverty said. “Rather than cutting programs that are needed now more than ever, Congress should invest in the people these programs serve and take steps to secure the resources needed to do so by rolling back tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.”
How to Participate
Please join in participating in the New Mexico Hunger Fast Day on Thursday, April 14th. Fasting is a very personal decision, so you are encouraged to participate in the way you feel comfortable. Please go to this link to sign up as a participant in the New Mexico Hunger Fast Day