How would you answer this question?

“Have there been times in the past 12 months when you did not have enough money to buy food that you or your family needed?”

Gallup asked this question of people throughout the country and 18% of Kentuckians did not have enough money for the food they or their families needed. Eighteen percent. That is almost one in five Kentuckians who could not afford a basic necessity.

Before Congress left for summer recess, there was much debate about the Farm Bill, and whether to cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP. SNAP (formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) is the country’s largest child nutrition program. SNAP helps one in three children be able to eat nutritiously and helped over 857,000 Kentuckians in July 2012 get enough to eat. SNAP also helps local economies by brining money into grocery stores. The USDA estimates that every $5 in new SNAP benefits generates $9.20 in community spending. Every $1 billion of food demand in stores from SNAP recipients generates 3,300 farm jobs. The Children’s Defense Fund estimates that each $1,000 increase in funding for food stamps creates or maintains 1.8 full-time jobs.

Building a strong Kentucky economy requires a foundation of strong local economies. Local economies depend on stable, working families. SNAP makes a difference by helping families facing hard times provide a basic necessity for their families. And a majority of SNAP participants, 75%, are families with children. When Congress resumes in September, they will have to decide what to do about the Farm Bill and SNAP. It is due for reauthorization September 30, 2012.  Before Congress resumes in September – reach out to your Congressman and tell him to protect Kentucky families and local economies by fully funding SNAP.