Open Arms’ congressional representative, Keith Ellison, and our former board member, Rev. Larry Snyder, are doing their parts to draw national attention to the increasing issue of food insecurity in the United States. Beginning on November 2, Rep. Ellison is taking a Food Stamp Challenge organized by Fighting Poverty with Faith. The congressman from Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District will join eight other congressional Democrats and live on approximately $4.50 a day.
By living on the average amount of money a recipient of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) receives, Rep. Ellison is reminding all of us that more than 500,000 Minnesotans struggle with hunger every day. Nationwide, over 40 million individuals and 19 million households used SNAP (formerly food stamps) in 2010.
Rev. Larry Snyder is president of Catholic Charities USA, a co-sponsor of Fighting Poverty with Faith. In the 1990s, Rev. Snyder was on the board of directors of Open Arms. Speaking of the increasing rates of food insecurity in the United States, Rev. Snyder said, “It is simply unacceptable that one in six Americans are living in hunger. We have a moral responsibility to urgently address the need for a permanent and financially sustainable solution to this growing tragedy.”
We applaud Rep. Ellison and Rev. Snyder’s efforts to highlight the critical importance of feeding programs in the United States. Open Arms will join the effort on November 17 when we launch our second annual SNAP Challenge.