For Immediate Release
We need your help to ensure the continued support of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps. The evidence is clear: people who are living with HIV/AIDS but lack stable food resources are significantly less likely to stay healthy. Please contact your Representative TODAY and ask that they sign the SNAP “Dear Colleague” funding letter now circulating in Congress.
SNAP is a nation-wide program that provides nutrition support for all low income people. For people with HIV/AIDS, receiving proper nutrition is critical for building a healthy immune system and balancing out the side effects from many of today's HIV/AIDS medications.
Food Stamp beneficiaries can — and many do — access APLA’s, Necessities of Life Program (NOLP). NOLP provides free groceries to eligible individuals on a weekly basis. The program distributes groceries at multiple sites throughout Los Angeles County. Together with Food Stamps, NOLP helps people with HIV/AIDS adhere to their medications, stay in their homes, and to live healthy and productive lives.
The “Dear Colleague” letter below demands that SNAP funding continue to be a priority as Congress makes budget decisions in the future. It is critical that this program is supported to protect some of the most vulnerable in our nation.
The text of the "Dear Colleague" SNAP support letter is below. The letter closes on Friday, August 2, so please act NOW!
Take action NOW. Thank you!
Dear Speaker Boehner and Leader Pelosi,
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is our country’s most critical anti-hunger program, helping more than 47 million Americans meet their basic food needs at a time when more than 50 million Americans face the threat of food insecurity. Nearly half of SNAP enrollees are children, and the program helps feed roughly one in three children in America. Additionally, almost 75 percent of SNAP participants are in households with children, seniors, or a disabled individual.
More than half of the average household’s SNAP allocation is used within 7 days, and by the third week of the month 90 percent of SNAP benefits have been redeemed, leaving many families without the resources they need to buy food. This inadequacy causes an added burden on food banks, as nearly 60 percent of the households receiving SNAP and using food banks have to rely on food banks at least 6 months a year. In addition, under current law each household participating in SNAP will see a benefit reduction when the temporary increase from the Recovery Act expires. This means that, beginning November 1st, each SNAP enrollee will see a cut to their benefit that is, on average, less than $1.50 per meal.
Unfortunately, the Republican leadership recently forced through a Farm Bill reauthorization, H.R. 2642, which did not include the nutrition title, a major part of the Farm Bill that would reauthorize SNAP. We voted against this bill in large part because of this intentional omission. We strongly believe in the critical importance of SNAP. Given the essential nature of this program to millions of American families, the final language of the Farm Bill or any other legislation related to SNAP must be crafted to ensure that we do not increase hunger in America.
<Your Representative’s Name>
AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) was founded in 1983 and is one of the largest nonprofit HIV/AIDS service organizations in the United States. APLA provides bilingual support to more than 6,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in Los Angeles County annually and leadership on HIV/AIDS-related policy and legislation. Additionally, APLA conducts behavioral research designed to inform the development of evidence-based interventions and assists health departments in evaluating their HIV/AIDS services to ensure the delivery of effective and quality programs. APLA also provides administrative and fiscal support to the Global Forum on Men Who Have Sex With Men (MSMGF), which promotes and advocates for the health and human rights of MSM internationally. APLA is proud to be a community-based, volunteer-supported organization with local, national, and global reach. For more information, please visit apla.org.
APLA Health & Wellness (APLAHW) provides primary medical and oral health care, behavioral health services, HIV testing, PrEP counseling and management of eligible clients, STD screening/treatment, and health education and HIV-prevention services, with a specific focus on low-income gay and bisexual men of color and transgender individuals living in Los Angeles County. APLAHW is a federally qualified health center that includes: the Gleicher / Chen Health Center in South Los Angeles; the Wilshire Dental Clinic downtown; Behavioral Health Services at the David Geffen Center in Mid-City; as well as a mobile dental facility. The S. Mark Taper Foundation Dental Clinic in South Los Angeles is also part of APLAHW. APLAHW serves more than 8,000 people each year. For more information, please visit aplahw.org.