HILLSIDE, NJ - U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today came to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey where he joined with families and representatives of agencies that would be harmed by the elimination of federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. The program, commonly referred to as food stamps received no funding in a version of the Farm Bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives last week.

"As we stand here today - in America, land of plenty, how is it that the Farm Bill that passed the House does not include funding for 47 million people who need one fundamental thing from their government - help to feed their families?" said Senator Menendez. "There are 871,000 New Jerseyans who need the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - food stamps - to survive. These aren't people looking to milk the system. They are people who hit hard times and are looking for a little help so they can get on their feet and put their lives together."

"It is unthinkable that we would not be providing food for our neighbors in need and for the children who are our future. Forty percent of SNAP recipients in the state live in households where people have a job, yet we know every day many families are forced to make choices between paying the rent or buying food," said Kathleen DiChiara, President & CEO, Community FoodBank of New Jersey. "But SNAP is an economic benefit to more than the recipients. Every bit of the funds are spent in our grocery stores, with the money going right back into our communities and overall economy."

The Farm Fill that passed in the House on July 11 provided billions in subsidies for farm - many of which are run by large corporations - but not a penny for low-income people needing assistance to buy food for their families.

During today's news conference, Senator Menendez introduced Guy Keys of Newark, a U.S. Navy veteran whose family of four receives SNAP funding.

"Receiving food stamps is a temporary thing. I go to school. I've been pushing myself. In the direction that I'm going in my life, I'd rather be the person that's giving back and helping out," Keys said. "It's very important that people have food stamps as a stepping stone to get them to the next point in their lives."

N.J. State Senator Raymond Lesniak was among those present at the event.