The Washington Post published the following letter to the editor written by Abby J. Leibman, MAZON’s President and CEO:
The Nov. 22 front-page article “Thanksgiving tenacity: ‘They can’t eat a gift card’ ” certainly described in vivid detail the challenges food banks faced at Thanksgiving and the looming economic factors expected to intensify hunger this winter. The article, however, overlooked the best and most meaningful solution to these challenges — the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly called food stamps.
Congress must increase funding for SNAP to address food insecurity and hunger for millions of Americans. This robust, national response gives struggling Americans the help they need in a dignified manner. There is nowhere in America where these challenges are felt more keenly or the support of SNAP more meaningful than in rural America. Not only are the economic hardships of rural America deepening, but the limited availability of charitable food resources in rural areas also underscores why SNAP is the essential lifeline for millions of rural households.
Food banks are vital resources, but they cannot match the reach of SNAP or its impact. Charity alone cannot solve the full scope of hunger in the United States; only our federal government can lead that effort.
Abby J. Leibman, Los Angeles
The writer is president and chief executive of MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger.