March 14, 2013

Yesterday, Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-WA) unveiled her budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2014. The plan protects programs serving low-income people from cuts and specifically highlights the importance of protecting nutrition assistance programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). Protecting SNAP, WIC, and other federal nutrition programs will ensure struggling families will continue to receive critical food assistance.

"We are pleased that the Senate Budget Committee has chosen to reinforce Congress's long-standing, bipartisan commitment to protecting low-income programs and the families they serve in its budget proposal for 2014," said Bob Aiken, president and CEO of Feeding America, the nation's largest hunger-relief charity."Protecting programs that help low-income families, children and seniors put food on the table is especially critical at a time when our economy is still recovering from the recession. The need for food assistance remains high across the nation, and millions of families have to choose between paying for rent and filling their pantries. Feeding America's network of food banks are stretched thin trying to meet increased need in communities across the country."

"As families slowly recover from widespread unemployment and reduced wages, SNAP and other federal nutrition programs are working exactly as intended, safeguarding vulnerable families against hunger. By improving access to food, these programs help improve the health and educational outcomes of participants. Funding these programs is an investment in our nation's future," Aiken continued.

Feeding America's annual Map the Meal Gap report shows that no county or congressional district is immune from hunger. Feeding America's nationwide network of more than 200 food banks cannot meet current demand without support from The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) and a strong SNAP program.

"Our food banks have seen firsthand the impact the recession and its aftermath have had on low-income families, as many people who never thought they would need a helping hand have had to turn to food banks and federal nutrition programs. The number of clients we serve increased 46 percent from 2006 to 2010 and need remains high in communities from Maine to Alaska. With the charitable system stretched to its breaking point, a commitment from Congress to protect and strengthen TEFAP, SNAP, and other nutrition programs will help ensure that struggling families can put food on the table and that food banks have sufficient supplies to fill the gaps in need," Aiken said.


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