"Feeding America is disappointed that Congress slashed funding for nutrition education when it voted to extend the farm bill. This important program helps low-income households maximize their benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
"SNAP benefits average less than $1.50 per person per meal, making it difficult for participating households to afford the most nutritious foods that are also often higher in price. SNAP nutrition education provides families with the tools they need to shop on a limited budget and prepare foods that are both low in cost and high in nutrition.
"Feeding America serves 37 million people each year through a network of over 200 food banks. In recognition of the resource challenges that our client families face and the importance of nutrition, nearly 80 percent of our food banks are engaged in some form of nutrition education, and many of them leverage SNAP nutrition education funding for this work.
"The cut to nutrition education was short-sighted and will undermine the efficacy of the SNAP benefit in promoting health. Furthermore, the size and timing of the cut will make it even more disruptive to the important work that is happening around the country. The cut amounts to a 25 percent reduction in SNAP nutrition education funding for Fiscal Year 2013. Because the cut was enacted when we are already three months in to the fiscal year, the savings must be achieved solely in the second half of the year and will result in sharper program reductions.
"Feeding America strongly urges Congress to protect all nutrition programs from cuts and harmful policy changes as the reauthorization process moves forward."
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