Senator/Representative, 

The Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, and partners across the state are writing to ask for your support in ensuring that the next Farm Bill reduces hunger in America and supports agriculture.

One in six Oklahomans are hungry, and one in four children in our state struggle with insufficient access to food. The Oklahoma Food Banks distribute 1.2 million meals every week, but we cannot end hunger on our own. Individuals, nonprofits, faith-based organizations, businesses, and government all have a role to play, and the federal nutrition programs are undeniably the largest share of food assistance in America. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), and the National School Breakfast and Lunch Programs contribute to the health and wellbeing of millions of Oklahomans each year.

The federal nutrition programs are the cornerstone of food assistance to low-income Americans. Congress must protect these critical programs to ensure they remain a resource for millions of Americans. As the Farm Bill moves through the legislative process, we urge you to protect the funding and structure of SNAP, TEFAP, and other critical federal nutrition programs, and examine policy changes to strengthen these programs, including:
  • Strengthen the connection between availability of job training programs and work waivers to increase workforce participation;
  • Simplify state certification requirements for seniors and the disabled and increase state agency efficiency by streamlining enrollment across programs;
  • Maintain the state option to lift the gross income limit, providing state flexibility and reducing the benefit cliff;
  • Provide $350 million per year for TEFAP food purchases and $100 million per year for TEFAP Storage and Distribution;
  • Reauthorize the CSFP program, which provides food to almost 700,000 low income seniors each year;
  • Provide support for growers and producers to connect excess food with food banks and communities in need;
  • Reduce regulatory barriers to food donation;
  • Strengthen rural development resources for communities in need.
The next Farm Bill should reduce hunger and support agriculture in order to keep these critical programs working and ensure that the hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans experiencing food insecurity are not left behind. We appreciate your willingness to join us in fulfilling our mission of “Fighting Hunger…Feeding Hope.”

Thank you,

Katie Fitzgerald, CEO
Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma
3355 S. Purdue Ave. | Oklahoma City, OK 73179
405-972-1111

Eileen Bradshaw, Executive Director
Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma
1304 Kenosha Ave. | Tulsa, OK 74106
918-585-2800

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