In the wake of her formal inauguration, during which Governor Janet Mills said she will implement voter-approved Medicaid expansion, advocacy groups are hopeful that Maine’s newly elected Democratic governor will quickly sideline the potential for work requirements to be placed on the state’s Medicaid recipients, an option granted by the federal government on Dec. 21 to former Governor Paul LePage in his final days in office.
Topic: Advocacy Programs
Preble Street and other poverty relief organizations in Maine are relieved that the 2018 US Farm Bill has passed with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, intact.
The $867-billion dollar omnibus bill passed with strong bipartisan support in both chambers, but not before a tense year of negotiations, including a House version of the bill that would have cut SNAP and imposed work requirements, potentially reducing or ending food benefits for some 2-million recipients.
“We absolutely needed this legislation to come through,” says Director of Advocacy for Preble Street, Heather Zimmerman. Zimmerman says their nonprofit organization served about 600-thousand meals to hungry Mainers last year. “Quite simply we are already stretched to capacity. We cannot fill the gap if government programs are eroded.”
“Yes, thoughts and prayers are appreciated, but to truly honor our veterans, we need to move beyond platitudes. Our nation must commit to providing reliable safety net programs for the many veterans who struggle with poverty and hunger when they return home.” – Tim Keefe, advocate and veteran
Preble Street Homeless Voices for Justice is hosting candidates in a series of forums. On Friday, Independent Sen. Angus King, Republican state Sen. Eric Brakey, and Democrat Zak Ringelstein met with dozens of people who are currently or recently homeless.
A group of veterans gathered outside of Congressman Bruce Poliquin’s office Wednesday morning urging him not to support the Farm Bill.
They say this bill that includes legislation from the Congressman’s Food Stamp Integrity Act, proposes significant cuts and harsher time limits to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also called SNAP.
Faith leaders gathered in Augusta on Wednesday to host a vigil for the hundreds of people in Maine lost last year to drug overdoses.
They’re calling on lawmakers to fully fund a number of bills aimed at addressing the opioid crisis in the state.
“418 people died last year from overdoses – that’s more than one a day,” said Rev. Jane Field, Executive Director of the Maine Council of Churches.
With Maine listed as having the third-highest rate of food insecurity in the country, Maine Medical Center’s pediatrics unit is teaming up with the Preble Street Maine Hunger Initiative to help reduce that number.
The Hunger Vital Sign program connects patients with food options that they may not have otherwise, the hospital said.
“It’s really about empowering people to know that we know you love your children, you care for them and you want to provide for them,” said Michelle Lamm, with Preble Street. “We care about your children too, and we want to help you provide for them.”
Whether a person is homeless as a result of a spiraling drug problem, or abusing drugs to cope with life on the street, homelessness and addiction are inexorably linked. Feeding off each other, and on what is perhaps the most vulnerable population, they cause a tremendous amount of suffering, and fuel a public health crisis that is hidden until it isn’t, and spills over into the wider world.
Because homelessness and addiction are often so firmly linked, they must be addressed together, with a combination of services that stabilize and treat a person, then prepare them for the next step in what with any luck will be a productive life. And because addiction is such an outsized problem among the homeless, it makes sense to target them in the larger fight against opioid abuse.
There’s a new initiative to fight Maine’s opioid crisis that focuses on tackling homelessness.
New research was released today on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, to better understand the effects the program has on Mainers.
Two organizations, Maine Equal Justice Partners and Preble Street, partnered to survey families around the state.
The report written by a University of Maine Professor found 62-percent of respondents said they would get very little to no help to get the food they need if they lost SNAP benefits.