Statement Attributable to Bob Aiken, CEO of Feeding America
“Today House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-GA) unveiled his budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2016.
“Like past House budgets, the plans include a harmful proposal to convert the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps) into a ‘block grant’ program.
“SNAP provides critical food assistance to struggling families as they confront a slowly recovering economy, and the likely result of the budget proposal would be that millions of people would lose their SNAP benefits, or see them significantly reduced, at a time of elevated need.
“The Senate Budget proposal is expected to be released tomorrow with similar proposals that would harm SNAP recipients.
"We are deeply disappointed that the House Budget Committee proposed to cut and restructure SNAP in their spending proposals for 2016.
“One in six Americans currently struggle to put food on the table, and millions of families are still unemployed or scraping by on reduced wages and hours. SNAP and other federal nutrition programs provide a critical lifeline that must be maintained.
“Little more than a year ago, Congress passed a bipartisan Farm Bill that contributed $23 billion toward deficit reduction, including cuts to SNAP.
“The House Budget Committee is resurrecting proposals that were considered and rejected by Congress during the three years of debate on the Farm Bill.
“While we can all agree that jobs are the best solution to hunger, the reality is that jobs remain elusive for many low-income workers and many others are working but unable to make ends meet.
“We need to make sure that those who have fallen on hard times can put food on the table until they get back on their feet.” Four out of five SNAP recipients is either working or not expected to work, including 66 percent of recipients who are children, elderly or disabled.
"While proponents of block grants argue that programs are more effective and better suited to local needs, in fact states already have considerable flexibility in administering SNAP. The primary consequence of a block grant would result in eroding the federal commitment that SNAP families are eligible to receive the same level of food assistance regardless of where they live."
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Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, we provide meals to more than 46 million people each year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a role in ending hunger. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. Educate. Together we can solve hunger. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.