Statement attributable to Bob Aiken, CEO of Feeding America
"As hundreds of anti-hunger advocates from across the country visited Capitol Hill today talk about hunger, including members of Feeding America food banks, we applaud the President for once again providing robust funding for federal nutrition programs in his FY2015 budget.
"We have seen first-hand the benefits of federal hunger-relief programs like SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps) and child feeding programs that help millions of struggling Americans put food on the table.
"Investing in programs that help feed children, seniors and families at risk of hunger and poor nutrition is not just the right thing to do, it makes fiscal sense. Hunger increases health care costs, lowers worker productivity, harms children's development and diminishes their educational performance.
"At a time when millions of families have fallen on hard times and need a helping hand, our food banks are seeing more clients struggling due to the across the board SNAP cuts, heat and food price inflation, increased housing and health costs, and lack of economic opportunity. While the farm bill did provide some temporary additional federal commodities for food banks, unfortunately it is not enough to make up for the increased demand from SNAP cuts.
"While we appreciate the additional nutritious commodities through the farm bill for distribution through food banks, pantries, and shelters under The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), we are disappointed that the president's budget does not request the full amount needed and authorized to store and distribute those commodities. TEFAP Storage and distribution funding has remained flat, now covering only 33 percent of the cost of distributing TEFAP commodities. 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 the safety-net and make sure that all of our neighbors have enough food to eat."
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