Legislation impacts hunger

Feeding Tampa Bay is engaging with city, county and state elected officials to ensure our neighbors’ needs are met. We strive to better understand the resources that exist, explain policy and regulatory issues that impact our work to lawmakers, and advocate for legislation that could inform and advance our mission. Together, we can make tomorrow possible and ensure everyone has a seat at the table.

Current Priorities

Access to food

A volunteer picking peppers

Understanding the impacts of TEFAP, SNAP, and WIC

Legislation like the Farm Bill has a direct impact on resources that become available to food banks. This legislation can strengthen almost every federal nutrition program that helps ease the strain and stress of hunger in our communities, it covers programs that benefit farmers and ensures healthy food access for low-income families. Food assistance programs in the Farm BIll, like The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), in conjunction with Women, Infants, & Children (WIC) assists families and individuals facing hunger by providing access to food and resources. TEFAP supplies Feeding Tampa Bay with fresh produce from local farmers and shelf stable goods to distribute to families, SNAP empowers our neighbors to purchase groceries and other household items they need each month, and WIC provides nutritional services to eligible women and their children.


Post COVID, inflation and rising costs of services like healthcare, rent, groceries, utilities, and gas have caused an increased need for food assistance and services. Feeding Tampa Bay rose to the occasion by instituting our crisis response programs to increase food delivered to the community. More recently; however, food resources decreased through the TEFAP program - from 21.1 million pounds in FY2022 to 12.6 million pounds in FY2023 - which created a direct hit to our organizational budget and a need to increase food purchasing. Advocating for increased TEFAP funding will help us provide more food to our community and support our local farmers which is a win-win for the people we serve as well as our local economy.

Advocate for TEFAP


SNAP, on the other hand, is the largest hunger relief program in the nation. Millions of Americans are able to purchase groceries each year because of it, but millions more never see this relief because of complicated application processes or unattainable program enrollment expectations. Advocating to simplify regulatory practices will help simplify the eligibility and enrollment processes, bring food to families across the country and boost the local economy. Additionally, restrictions on specific food items being considered in Congress, place limitations on purchasing power. SNAP recipients are already struggling with food insecurity, and limiting their ability to choose nutritious foods that fit their cultural preferences, dietary needs, and family size could have detrimental health consequences. Restricting choices could limit access to healthy options, it could exacerbate existing inequalities and reduce the program's effectiveness. We urge Congress to limit restrictions and pass a strong Farm Bill that makes investments in these programs that play a vital role in ensuring food security for millions of Americans.

Advocate for SNAP


The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a vital lifeline for nearly 7 million low-income pregnant and postpartum participants, infants, and young children nationwide. It provides nutritious foods, nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and health care referrals.

If Congress fails to act and continues WIC’s current funding level for the rest of the fiscal year, approximately 2 million pregnant and postpartum women and young children would be turned away from the program by September 2024 - in Florida, that equates to 126,000 that would not receive services.

Advocate for WIC funding

Support for our military


Looking at allowances

Members of our military have bravely protected and served, but many do not have access to safety net services like SNAP because their basic housing allowance is included as part of their gross income calculation, pushing them above the eligibility threshold.

Congress recently expanded access by passing legislation that allows the secretary of defense to exclude the basic allowance for housing under specific circumstances. Although it is a step in the right direction, we will continue to add our voice to this issue so that this policy can change. Removing barriers like this allows for active duty service members to benefit from social services and gain access to programs like SNAP. This change would help military families, like those at MacDill, to live a healthy, balanced life.

Taking care of children

Little girl eats a snack

Expanding child hunger programs

Access to food is crucial at any age, but especially for growing children – that’s why we support programs like the child tax credit and the Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Program that work to provide families with the resources they need to maintain nutritious diets.

The extension of the child tax credit during and post COVID kept child poverty to a minimum. This summer, the US Census Bureau reported that the percentage of children under 15 living in low-income families measured at 5.2% in 2021, and rose to 12.4% in 2022 when the extended credit expired. Reviving this benefit for low-income families would allow them to provide additional care for their youth throughout the year.

Similarly, the Summer EBT Program would allow families to further care for their children during the summer months when school is not in session and meals are not guaranteed. Summer EBT boosts the grocery budgets of families with low incomes during school breaks, providing more options for meal access. In advocating for this program, we will continue to work with our lawmakers to encourage policies that provide more flexibility for summer and after school meal programs, and bring health to children everywhere.

Become a Hunger Advocate

We are committed to raising the profile of our collective voice to create opportunities that improve the lives of those we serve. If you are interested in learning more about our efforts, please contact our Chief External Affairs Officer, Lorena, at or 813-710-1369.

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