LET JUSTICE FLOW
Last week I was in Washington, DC, with social justice leaders from Catholic Ministries from across the United States. This annual gathering brings together people and organizations that work for justice and work for the common good of civil society. We spent time visiting the offices of our elected representatives as well as participating in educational workshops and presentations on domestic and international issues.
Two of the domestic issues that the group focused on were related to nutrition programs that alleviate hunger and investment in affordable housing.
Preserving funding for nutrition programs that alleviate hunger is critical to providing help to those in need. In 2017 more than 11.8% of household in the US were food insecure. It is essential that the government provide funding for agencies and programs which help families and individuals impacted by hunger to access healthy and affordable food. Essential funding for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), TEFAP (The Emergency Food Assistance Program), CSFP (Commodity Supplemental Food Assistance Program) and WIC (Women, Infants, and Children program) is necessary to support those who suffer from hunger in its many forms.
Investment in affordable housing is a must. More than 38 million households are cost-burdened by spending more than they can afford on increasingly higher housing costs. The number of people experiencing homelessness is increasing across the US for the first time in six years. At the same time, the number of available low-cost rental housing units is decreasing. Housing and community development programs under HUD and USDA continue to be underfunded, put the poor and vulnerable at risk of homelessness and loss of stable housing. At present, only one in four households who qualify for housing assistance actually ever receive it!
These two issues are vital to the people of Georgia. SVdP Georgia is one of the largest nonprofits in our great State working to prevent homelessness and fight hunger. We were proud to stand with the other committed social justice leaders in ensuring that our federal government helps us to win that fight.