Past Events

Food at the Foundation: Why Appalachia Needs Food Assistance that Works for Us

By August 17, 2023August 20th, 2023No Comments

Thursday, August 17th at noon ET

On Thursday, August 17th at noon ET, we hosted a webinar to learn why the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP – also known as food assistance- is so important to Appalachian communities, and how to advocate for a stronger SNAP program for Appalachia in the upcoming Farm Bill.  We need to build an economy that respects working people—that means improving access to food benefits. Making it easier for families to access food assistance allows people to work, take care of their families, and contribute to their communities.  

Boosts to SNAP kept millions of people out of poverty during Covid, but those supplements ended on March 1st. More than a quarter of rural Appalachian families with children rely on this life-saving and family-sustaining food benefits program. 

Congress is currently debating the Farm Bill, a huge omnibus bundle of legislation that affects everything from farming to flooding to food aid. The message to Congress needs to be: no more hits to hungry people. 

Watch the recording here:

Speakers included:


Joshua Lohnes

Research Professor of Geography, WVU Food Justice Lab


Chef Carlos Thomas

Director, Feed the Hood PA


Cynthia Kirkhart

Executive Director, Facing Hunger Food Bank


Violet Affleck

Farm Bill Organizer, ReImagine Appalachia


  • GusNIP talking points – express your support for the GusNIP Flexibility Act of 2023 to expand access to fresh fruits and vegetables, especially for rural communities. Consuming more fruits and vegetables can lower the risk of chronic medical conditions.  In fact, the latest national evaluations show that GusNIP participants consume more fruits and vegetables than the average American. Diabetes and other diet-related health costs in this country are estimated to be over $10 billion. 


  • Any questions about HR 2567 – the Schools Meals Expansion Act which increases the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) of the National School Lunch Act. Please reach out to [email protected]– for Congressman Morgan McGarvey 
  • H.R. 3087 Training and Nutrition Stability Act – everyone needs to advocate here. Exclude work-based learning for participants receiving SNAP benefits.
  • Support the HR.309 – Opportunity to Address College Hunger Act
  • Senator Boozman of Arkansas is concerned about the 50/50 matching funds in the GusNIP Flexibility Act of 2023 and he is pretty dug in. It does not matter that you may not be from Arkansas, Sen. Boozman is accountable to the entire country as the Senate lead on the Agricultural committee. Call Senator Boozman’s office to tell him about how important GusNIP is to bringing healthy foods to your community: Call Boozman’s local Little Rock Office at: (501) 372-7153 and or email the Ag lead, Katherine Thomas – (note, there is an underscore between Katherine and Thomas) [email protected]. The more attention we can put on the Crawford bill in Arkansas, the GusNIP Flexibility Act of 2023, is a good thing.

Take action: