Baucus Rallies Support to Combat Hunger

As 1 in 7 Montanans Face Hunger, Senator Goes to Bat for Montana Food Banks

(Bozeman, Montana) – Montana’s Senior U.S. Senator Max Baucus is going to bat for Montana food banks as one in seven Montanans, and nearly 48,000 Montana children are faced with hunger.  Baucus is calling on the Department of  Agriculture to provide emergency support that Montana food banks have come to rely on.

“In the richest country on earth, there’s no excuse for even one child go to bed hungry. And yet, 48,000 Montana kids do just that every single night – it’s unacceptable,” Baucus said.  “Montana neighbors step up every day to support their local food banks and fight hunger in their communities.  Uncle Sam needs to do the same.”

In 2012, nearly 143,000 Montanans received food through the agencies of the Montana Food Bank Network.

The emergency support Baucus is calling for has historically made up about 20 percent of the food distributed by the Montana Food Bank Network. But in 2012, Montana got only enough to cover 13 percent, even as demand remains high.

“Montana is still reeling from the impact of the recession as thousands of families and individuals struggle to get back on their feet and local pantries try to keep up with record levels of need. USDA’s emergency support plays a significant role in helping agencies across the state keep food on their shelves, and Montana food banks have are depending on it to keep families from going hungry,” said Gayle Gifford, CEO, Montana Food Bank Network. “Senator Baucus’s endorsement for emergency funding is a critical step toward feeding the hungry in Montana.  We truly appreciate his support.”

Baucus spent a day volunteering at the Billings Food Bank, after many folks in the area were displaced by floods in 2011. Last year, Baucus visited the Livingston Food Pantry to highlight ways the organization is working to tackle the root causes of hunger in Park County through job training and economic development initiatives.

Baucus is also fighting to ensure the Farm Bill includes critical funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, which 60,000 Montana households relied on last year.

Complete text of Baucus’ letter can be found here: http://www.baucus.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=1384