Take a Stand Against Hunger
A strong nutrition safety net is essential to a future where no one goes hungry. We advocate for policies that protect individuals and families from hunger. Raise your voice and let your elected officials know that you support hunger relief programs.
Our Policy Priorities
The Food Depository mobilizes the public to help end hunger. At the federal, state, and local level, our policy priorities include:
- Maintaining and strengthening hunger relief programs for individuals and families
- Increasing the amount of healthy food that is available and affordable to all
- Ensuring that healthy meals are available in schools for children in need
Our Advocacy Success Stories
Thanks to the combined efforts of our advocates, we have advanced policies that support food access for all. Here are a few recent highlights of our advocacy.
- College Students Hunger Relief (SB 351): Low-income students who are pursuing career or technical education programs at community colleges will be eligible for benefits to help them afford nutritious food. Over 40,000 economically-disadvantaged students at 49 community colleges could become eligible for SNAP benefits as a result of this law.
- Hunger Relief Tax Check-Off (SB 2868): Illinois taxpayers will have the opportunity to contribute to the Hunger Relief Fund when they file individual income tax forms. This law will aid Illinois food banks in providing vital support to individuals and families struggling with hunger.
- Healthy Local Food Incentives Fund (HB 4568): The Healthy Local Food Incentives Program provides double-value coupon incentives to SNAP participants to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers markets and farm stands. The new law also calls for a $500,000 investment in this program, strengthening local economies while increasing access to nutritious food.
- The Breakfast After the Bell law is working for kids: Beginning with the 2017-18 school year, schools in which 70 percent or more of the student population is eligible for free or reduced-price meals are required to offer Breakfast After the Bell in Illinois. The law makes breakfast part of the school day and increases access to the nutrition all students require each morning to learn and succeed in the classroom. Early data shows that Illinois saw an increase of more than 20,000 students receiving breakfast in the 2017-18 school year! Read about the impact of Breakfast After the Bell in one local school.
- Secured a waiver of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) time limit for calendar years 2018 and 2019: The SNAP time limit waiver protects access to SNAP benefits for more than 260,000 Illinoisans by waiving a federal requirement that would result in many only being able to receive SNAP benefits for 3 months in a 3-year period. Learn more about the importance of this waiver, and see the Food Depository’s official statement on the waiver.
Take Action to Protect Anti-Hunger Programs
Statement on the Proposed Public Charge Rule Change
On September 22, the White House unveiled a proposal to change the way families across the United States access federal nutrition programs and other critical programs. The proposed executive action will harm families who immigrate legally while potentially increasing hunger throughout immigrant communities. The Food Depository opposes this proposed change and urges the White House to rescind it.
Statements on the 2018 Farm Bill
On June 28, the Senate overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan Farm Bill that protects SNAP and other federal nutrition programs and represents a stark improvement over the House version. The next step is for the bill to go to conference committee, where differences between the two bills will be negotiated. We urge lawmakers to follow the lead of the Senate and ensure the conference bill protects vital access to nutrition assistance.
On June 21, 2018, the U.S. House of Representatives Farm Bill (H.R. 2) narrowly passed, following a previous failed vote on the bill. This vote represents hurtful cuts and structural damage to SNAP, our nation’s most effective hunger relief program.