YUMA, Ariz. (KSWT News 13) – Hunger: We know it's a big issue impacting hundreds of residents in Yuma every single day.
Collecting enough food to feed the hungry is also an every day struggle for the Yuma Community Food Bank.
KSWT News 13 has learned the food bank's president is heading to Washington DC to convince congressional leaders not to cut funding to the nation's farm bill that provides funding to help feed those who are in need.
If Congress cuts the farm bill budget that means food banks, like the one in Yuma and El Centro, will have to spend its own donated money, not to buy food, but to pay for gas to go and pick up food from a federal distribution center that provides some food staples like whole chickens.
"I want to make them cry, I want them to cry in DC," said Mike Ivers, President of the Yuma Community Food Bank.
Ivers wants congressional politicians to feel his pain, living in an area rich in agriculture but poor when it comes to trying to feed hundreds of hungry people every single day.
"We don't want to be forgotten and I'm afraid that's what's happened so far with the lack of priorities the farm bill has been given," he said.
Right now, politicians are considering a proposal to cut $2.4 million from the current Farm Bill. This money is used to transport commodity food, like chicken, to local food banks.
Without it, Ivers says the Yuma Community Food Bank, already struggling to feed people, would have to find extra money to pick up the food.
About 20-percent of all food donations come from the federal government.
"I had a kid come up to me after school saying 'hey mister you're going to be seeing me in the food bank because my family is broke,'" said Ivers. He says these are stories he hears all too often.
Arizona currently ranks 14th worst in the country when it comes to hunger.
"The war on hunger in Yuma goes on and I think were making some progress but we need more help."
Ivers leaves this Saturday for Washington DC and will be there for five days.
He will be meeting with several congressional leaders including Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake.
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