(Host) The head of the Vermont Campaign to End Childhood Hunger urged members of the U.S. Senate Agriculture committee today to allocate more resources to the federal food stamp program as part of the 2007 Farm bill.
Robert Dostis is the executive director of the organization. He says approximately 48,000 Vermonters rely on the food stamp program for nutritional assistance very month.
Dostis told members of the U.S. Senate panel that he believes the food stamp program needs to be expanded because hunger and poverty are on the rise in Vermont:
(Dostis) “Despite the program’s success there is still hunger and people who need help are not getting it. There are obstacles to participation and stories of the under-served. There are gaps – mainly benefit allotments are not adequate and assets limits are too low.”
(Host) Dostis presented the senators with some concrete examples of the problem in Vermont:
(Dostis) “I think of the senior I learned of who gets food stamps but cannot afford the foods required for his medical condition, or the elementary school principal who shared with me the story of a young girl who was holding her stomach on a Monday morning because there was no food in her home and the last meal she had eaten was lunch at school on Friday.”
(Host) Dostis also urged the panel to streamline the administrative process for the program because he believes a number of eligible people don’t apply for benefits because the process is too complicated.