Clergy Denounce Rep. Mast’s Vote, Call On Senate To Protect SNAP Food Benefits for Families


May 23, 2018



Michelle Nealy,, (202)735-7123

Joey McKinnon,, (843)364-4403


Clergy Denounce Rep. Mast’s Vote, Call On Senate To Protect SNAP Food Benefits for Families


Ft. Pierce, Fla. -- On Wednesday, May 23rd, prominent faith and community leaders held a press conference at St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church, which includes a food bank, calling on Rep. Brian Mast to change his vote to “no” on any next round of legislation that makes cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), included in the Farm Bill. Community members closed out the rally with chants of “No SNAP Cuts! Food is Blessed!”

On Friday, the House rejected a $867 billion farm bill after spending days negotiating. The Farm Bill that would reduce or eliminate food assistance for 2 million Americans, including low-income working families, children, seniors, people with disabilities and veterans.


To watch the livestream, click here.

Rev. Jonathan Ingram, St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church:

“As Christians, we have taken the position that we are to serve to the least and the left outs. We are standing here in a neighborhood that will be directly impacted by cuts to SNAP and food assistance programs--this is a community of veterans, senior citizens and children that rely on SNAP. As the pastor of a church that feeds the hungry with our St. Mark’s food bank, more people will come to us if their assistance is cut. If more come to us, we--and churches like us--will be overloaded and unable to provide these services. Matthew 26:11 says that the poor will always be with us and I call on Rep. Brian Mast to honor his faith and not take food away from them.”

Fr. Bernie Sheffield, St. Julian of Norwich Old Catholic Church:

“My parish is located next to a pavilion where the needy gather. We’ve been able to help where we can and we are working on opening a food pantry because we see desperate need. A couple of weeks ago a young man stopped by a shared that a year ago we had helped him with food. That food gave him hope and that hope allowed him to get work and sustain himself. As a veteran myself, I am calling on veteran, Rep. Brian Mast, to not take hope from the many veterans, seniors, children and from the Ft. Pierce community by taking food off of the tables of those in need.”

Dr. Donna Mills, Chair of St. Lucie County School Board:

“We have almost 75% of students in St. Lucie at or near the poverty line. We need to make sure these children have adequate food in the home. As a minister and part of a non-profit that has helped children for years, I have grown adults today that tell me how the assistance we provided helped, but churches and nonprofits can’t do it all. We must not judge people in poverty and make them pay for being poor. I personally was in a situation where at one point I depended on assistance programs and I would not be standing her today had I not had that help. I call on Rep. Brian Mast as a born again believer to reconsider his vote on cutting SNAP and to consider the poor and families that don’t have food in their cupboards.”




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