Statement Attributable to Bob Aiken, CEO of Feeding America:
"As Congress and the President draft legislation this year to reauthorize vital child nutrition programs, we applaud the President for once again providing robust funding for federal nutrition programs in his FY2016 budget.
“Our food banks understand the critical need for federal hunger-relief programs like The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) and various child nutrition programs, all of which help millions of struggling Americans put food on the table.
“We are, however, disappointed that the president's budget again calls for limiting charitable deductions for individual taxpayers, a recommendation that numerous independent studies have shown to cause declines in charitable giving.
"The Feeding America network is funded primarily by private donations and, at a time when our food bank network is feeding more than 46 million people a year, any loss of funding could substantially affect our ability to provide food to people in need.
“We are also disappointed that the budget does not request the full amount needed and authorized to store and distribute TEFAP commodities at food banks. This chronic under-funding often forces our food banks to divert funding for food purchases to cover the shortfall.
“At a time when so many of our neighbors continue to struggle, we must ensure food banks have the resources to meet need in their communities.
"We will continue to work with our supporters in Congress and other hunger-relief advocates to make sure we protect important programs and ensure that all of our neighbors have enough food to eat."
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Feeding America is the nationwide network of 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. Together, we provide food to more than 46 million people through 60,000 food pantries and meal programs in communities across America. Feeding America also supports programs that 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.