Catholic Conference of Ohio
Thursday, October 29, 2020

Issues - Catholic Conference of Ohio

Hunger

Food, like life itself, is a basic human right. The rising costs of food, fuel and medicine coupled with high unemployment have led to increased hunger here and abroad. In Ohio, over two million people experience food insecurity, meaning that they do not always know where they will find their next meal.

Ohio food banks, pantries and emergency feeding programs are experiencing an increasing demand for food resources.  Reports indicate that more than 500,000 Ohio children live in homes lacking access to full-service grocers. Throughout the world, statistics show that 35,000 persons die of hunger and its consequences every day.


Ohio ‚ÄčCatholic Charities and Social Concerns Programs



Placemat template on hunger responses  



Map the Meal Gap

Food insecurity exists in every county and congressional district in the country. But not everyone struggling with hunger qualifies for federal nutrition assistance. Learn more about local food insecurity and the food banks in your community by exploring data from Feeding America’s annual Map the Meal Gap project.


Ohio Compassion Map

An interactive map that displays the location and basic information for thousands of Ohio nonprofit organizations.


 

Church Leaders Praise Lawmakers for Historic Emergency Legislation on Coronavirus Relief

Improvements Still Needed

 Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, praised members of Congress and the President for passing and signing into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

Brian Corbin, executive vice president of member services at Catholic Charities USA, welcomed allocations in the CARES Act for a variety of social services, some of which are delivered by diocesan agencies.

According to Corbin, among the specific items being funded are an additional $15 billion for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, formerly known as food stamps; $8.8 billion for child nutrition assistance; $4 billion for emergency solutions grants to address homelessness; $5 billion for the Community Development Block Grant that often funds social services such as food programs; and $200 million for the emergency food and shelter program.

Archbishop Coakley also encouraged continued legislative responses.  "There are some areas where aid and relief can improve. We will continue to advocate for those most in need, for food security, for the homeless, for prisoners, for the sick who have large medical bills, for all Americans who are struggling to make ends meet, and for those who have lost friends and loved ones. It was disappointing that certain aid and relief was not extended to the undocumented, and extremely concerning that testing and access to health care coverage was denied to certain immigrants..."

Summary of Legislatve Changes in the CARES Act (National Conference of State Legislatures)

 

U. S. Bishops Approve Additions to Teaching Document on Political Responsibility

A short introductory letter and five short video scripts approved to supplement "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship"

An introductory letter  addressing current issues of the day and references to the teachings of Pope Francis was approved by USCCB to supplement  the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' existing document, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship. The letter affirms the "richness" that our faith brings to the public square, and addresses challenges that have become more pronounced:

"Pope Francis has continued to draw attention to important issues such as migration, xenophobia, racism, abortion, global conflict, and care for creation. In the United States and around the world, many challenges demand our attention.

The threat of abortion remains our preeminent priority because it directly attacks life itself, because it takes place within the sanctuary of the family, and because of the number of lives destroyed. At the same time, we cannot dismiss or ignore other serious threats to human life and dignity such as racism, the environmental crisis, poverty and the death penalty."

Introductory Letter

Introductory Letter References to Pope Francis' Apostolic Exhortation Rejoice and Be Glad #25, #101

Legislative Action Alert

Urge Withdrawal of Proposed Federal Rule Harmful to SNAP Recipients

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is our nation's foremost anti-hunger program. Each year SNAP lifts millions of low-income Americans out of food insecurity. One way individuals and families can be considered eligible for SNAP benefits is by automatically becoming eligible based on whether they already receive cash or non-cash Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits; this is called “categorical eligibility.”

The USDA proposed a rule that limits the application of categorical eligibility for SNAP, essentially revising the income and asset limits for SNAP eligibility. These changes would make the SNAP program less efficient, discourage personal savings, undermine the ability of states to respond to local needs, and cause 3.1 million people to lose needed nutrition assistance. 

Send E-mail to USDA

Ohio House Considers State Budget: HB 166

Action expected by early May

HB 166: State Budget
House Budget Language
Governor's Proposal
LSC Analysis



Catholic Conference of Ohio Budget Backgrounders

Health and Human Services
Defend and Protect Human Life
Promote Care for Creation
Support Families Who Choose Catholic Schools

Catholic Conference of Ohio Page on the State Budget

U. S. Farm Bill Passed

The final five-year farm bill sets policies and reauthorizes farm, conservation, nutrition, rural development, agricultural trade and other programs. It protects domestic and international nutrition programs, maintains crop insurance and commodity subsidies for farmers, especially those who are struggling while strengthening support for rural communities and employment training programs.

Catholic Rural Life, along with its partnering organizations, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Catholic Charities USA, Catholic Relief Services, and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul commend Chairmen Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) and Rep. K. Michael Conaway (R-Texas), and Ranking Members Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan) and Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minnesota) for their leadership in negotiating a bipartisan, compromise Farm Bill.

Federal Budget Should Build Toward Common Good, Say U.S. Bishops Chairmen

After the Trump Administration released its federal budget proposal, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, Archbishop for the Military Services, USA, chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace, and the Most Reverend Frank J. Dewane, Bishop of Venice, Florida, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, expressed deep concerns about many of the priorities outlined in the blueprint, and called on Congress to "ensure a budget for our country that honors our obligations to build toward the common good."

Catholic Teachings on Poverty

Poverty in the world is a scandal. In a world where there is so much wealth, so many resources to feed everyone, it is unfathomable that there are so many hungry children, that there are so many children without an education, so many poor persons. We must all think about whether we can become a little poorer. This is something we must all do. How I can become a little poorer to be more like Jesus, who was the poor Teacher. (Pope Francis, 2013)

Resources on Hunger

Catholic Charities USA 

Catholic Relief Services

Catholic Rural Life

USCCB Agriculture, Nutrition and Rural Issues

Ohio Association of Foodbanks

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