As the director of the Polo Lifeline Food Pantry I am provided data on a regular basis that concerns hunger and funding statistics through Northern Illinois Foodbank and the Feed America Federal Program.
I am deeply concerned with the proposed federal budget for Fiscal Year 2018.
The following cuts are being proposed and is under consideration by our congressional representatives:
• SNAP: $193 billion in cuts to SNAP, resulting in at least 45 billion meals taken away over 10 years. The proposals would reduce eligibility and benefits and shift significant costs to states.
• TEFAP: A $27 million decrease from FY 2017 – this reflects a loss of 33 million meals. The budget sustains $289 million for TEFAP mandatory commodity purchases. Additionally there is a proposed $5 million decrease $54 million for TEFAP Storage and Distribution funds, which is a $5 million decrease from FY 2017.
• Reduction to the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit by $40.4 billion over 10 years.
· The budget proposed to eliminate the following programs: WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program, School Meal Equipment Grants, LIHEAP, CDBG, CSBG, Emergency Food and Shelter Program, AmeriCorps.
We are working with Feeding America and our fellow food banks to engage in conversations with our elected officials and communities and ask that you add your voice and advocate for hunger relief.
Here are two ways to do that:
Reach out to your members of Congress and ask them to oppose any budget or spending legislation that would cut or restrict access to federal nutrition programs.
Educate your friends and family about the harm these cuts would cause to our community.
The most recent hunger study for Ogle county revealed these statistics:
• 11.4 percent or 5,856 residents living in poverty
• 12.6 percent or 6670 residents that are food insecure
• 22.7 percent or 2920 children that are food insecure
Lee county has similar, slightly higher hunger statistics.
Our food pantry in Polo serves an average of 105 to 110 families per month.
Losing the federal funds for these programs will have a devastating effect on hungry families, especially children and senior citizens who often must chose between food or their medication.
These are already horribly under funded programs, to lose even 1 percent of funds would result in sky-rocketing hunger statistics.
These are not abstract numbers about “other people in other places”
These are our family, friends and neighbors. This is our community.
I urge everyone who reads this please, please contact your government representatives and let them know that these proposed budget cuts are unacceptable if not immoral.
A truly great nation is one who gives the greatest care and consideration to those who are most vulnerable.
Polo Lifeline Food Pantry
Supports new jail location
Recently the City of Oregon approved a zoning change for the site of the new Ogle County Jail on Sixth Street in Oregon.
Since the jail’s new location is already set in stone, continuing to focus our attention on this seems a but unnecessary.
The updated jail with a functional sally port will enhance the safety not only of our community and citizens, but also the sheriff’s deputies and inmates that occupy this facility.
In addition, the new jail, which I support completely, will soon become beneficial for our community.
Safety has always been a primary concern in Oregon, so lets’ continue to make it a priority.