Protest Food Stamp Cuts
Press Conference & Rally
Monday, February 27,
5 pm sharp (rain or shine)
City Hall, 100 Holliday Street
Emergency food stamp allotments are scheduled to end in 32 states, including Maryland on February 28, 2023. Eighteen states already cut food stamps. On the average people will lose $82 of SNAP benefits a month. A family of four could see a cut of $328 a month. Seniors could see reductions from $281 to as little as $23 per month.
The Peoples Power Assembly, Matthew Henson Neighborhood Association, Unemployed Workers Union and others are demanding that these cuts be restored immediately and that the program expand due to the continuing inflationary crisis affecting Marylanders.
Dr. Marvin ‘Doc’ Cheatham, Matthew Henson Neighborhood Association and civil rights advocate, stated, “The federal government must address this crisis, but local state and city governments can and must act too. Everyone from the Mayor to the Governor can and must find the resources to keep people from starving and suffering!”
Reverend Annie Chambers, Douglas Homes housing advocate and Peoples Power Assembly organizer, delared, “They can find $100 billion for the Ukraine war, but nothing for the people. This is an outrage! Food stamps must be extended, not cut.”
Baltimore is already hard hit by food deserts and what activists are calling “Baltimore food apartheid”.
Groups have banded together in a campaign to “End Food Apartheid in Baltimore”. They are demanding that the food stamp program be expanded including lowering requirements to allow seniors and low wage workers more access. The campaign has called for rolling back prices including enacting a people’s control board that has the power to freeze and rollback prices and enacting stiff penalties for price gougers.
Baltimore community groups are joining together to fight for people’s right to affordable, nutritious food. If Under Armour can receive “opportunity zone” status and downtown businesses can receive financial benefits, why not Baltimore’s neighborhoods.
We believe that it is time to put an end to food apartheid in Baltimore. When we began our work there were four areas that we identified as ‘food deserts’ including West Baltimore, Pigtown, Oliver East and Cherry Hill. Those boundaries have widened and with growing inflation most communities, with the exception of wealthy areas, are facing hardship and hunger.
This is why we are submitting the following proposals for change. Where it is possible, we welcome government officials negotiating with existing supermarket chains to locate in these neighborhoods. But we cannot wait or rely on the good will of for profit food chains. Comprehensive action is needed!
Action is needed on a City, State and Federal Level. It includes City Council members, the Mayor, the Baltimore Health Department and the Governor.
Public owned & subsidized markets.at the previous sites of closed markets or at locations designated by the community.
Train and hire residents from each affected area.
Protect and guarantee union rights for all workers in subsidized supermarkets.
Rollback food prices
- Restore emergency allotments for food stamps to address the inflation crisis.
- Lower requirements to extend food stamp programs especially for seniors & low wage workers.
- Workers and peoples control board to rollback and freeze prices
- Enact penalties for price gougers
Support and fund Black owned food-coops, gardens & farms
Community control of vacant city lots for people’s gardens.
Immediately enact transportation & food distribution plan for seniors, youth, disabled and poor residents
- Weekly bus routes to supermarkets from affected communities.
- Delivery of food to those in need and emergency preparation.
Community control of redevelopment
- Form Community Action Committees in each area.
- Citywide Commission made up of representatives from affected communities to determine action.
Mayor & City Council call for national aid – over $100 billion has already been spent on the U.S./ NATO proxy war on Russia, Time to feed the people, not the Pentagon.