Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Dalila Bennett: Food security issue needs everyone’s help

To the editor:

It amazes me that funding for nutrition has not only declined, but that there are going to be drastic cuts in the near future. Food is not something that people want, it is something we need.

With grocery stores and restaurants lining the streets, it is hard to think that one in eight people, and one in five children, go hungry every day. Our country is struggling with obesity problems and hunger issues — two problems the wealthiest nation should not have, especially together.

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts saw a 22 percent increase in the number of people served in this region between 2006 and 2010, yet the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is making cuts to its program. SNAP does not just feed starving people, it boosts the local economy. The use of SNAP benefits helps create jobs at food markets.

With cuts in SNAP funding, the local Food Bank will have to accept more hungry people. However, the Food Bank has already reached capacity, with 135,000 people in the last year.

If we do not take action and fight for more funding for the food assistance programs, our region, and all of America, will continue to go hungry, and more people will go without a meal. To help, we can volunteer to feed starving people or donate to the Food Bank. For more information and to donate, visit www.foodbankwma.org or call at 247-9738.

Dalila Bennett

Leverett

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