"Feeding America commends the President's new budget proposal for providing robust funding for federal nutrition programs, which help millions of struggling Americans put food on the table. It demonstrates that deficit reduction can be accomplished while ensuring an adequate safety-net for our most vulnerable citizens. We urge Congress and the President to maintain our nation's historic, bi-partisan commitment to protecting low-income families as they work to reach agreement on fiscal priorities and deficit reduction.
"Economic recovery remains elusive for too many Americans, particularly those who are most vulnerable. Nearly 12 million Americans remain out of work and another 8 million are working part-time, because their hours have been cut or they cannot find full time work. Federal anti-hunger programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), which supports our nation's food banks, are a life-line for families faced with choosing between filling the pantry or paying the rent.
"Food is our most basic human need. Investing in programs that help feed children, seniors and working families at risk of hunger and poor nutrition is not just the right thing to do, it makes fiscal sense. In the long run, hunger increases health care costs, lowers worker productivity, harms children's development and diminishes their educational performance.
"Feeding America is concerned that the President's proposal to cap the charitable deduction at 28 percent for higher income taxpayers will hurt food banks and other charities that are on the front lines serving struggling families.
"The charitable donation deduction is unique, in that it encourages giving that strengthens communities. With non-profits continuing to experience high demand for their services, our elected officials should support policies that encourage all Americans to give more to charity.
"The proposed budget affects federal hunger-relief programs and policies as follows:
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