Attributed to Diana Aviv, CEO of Feeding America
“The fiscal year 2018 budget proposed today by President Trump would be devastating for the 42 million people in our country facing hunger. As a reflection of our shared values, the federal budget should ensure adequate resources are provided for federal hunger-relief and anti-poverty programs. Unfortunately, this budget puts vulnerable and low-income populations in harm’s way by making significant cuts to programs that support Americans who have fallen on hard times.
“The president’s fiscal year 2018 budget proposes billions in cuts to important nutrition and support programs that help millions of individuals struggling with hunger and poverty – children; seniors; military and veteran families; unemployed and underemployed adults; urban, suburban, and rural families; and countless others who need support in times of need. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, also known as food stamps) is the cornerstone of our nation’s assurance that no one should go hungry. The president’s proposed massive cuts to SNAP break that assurance; a devastating departure from our country’s longstanding and bipartisan commitment to staving off hunger.
“The budget proposes more than $190 billion in cuts to SNAP over 10 years, including shifting significant SNAP costs – more than $100 billion – to states. That would lead to at least 45 billion meals being taken away from those in need, which would be higher if states are unable to fill their share. Cuts of this magnitude would harm millions of people. This and other proposals would necessarily lead to a reduction in meals, or complete loss of benefits, for millions of low-income working families, the elderly, veterans, and the unemployed.
“The budget proposal also reduces funding for food banks by cutting the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) below levels authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. This results in less food available to communities nationwide.
“The budget also makes cuts to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), AmeriCorps, Medicaid, the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG), Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and many other programs that provide critical support for low-income individuals.
“Without any doubt, our network of 200 food banks will not be able to fill in the gap created by the cuts proposed in this budget.
“We are extremely distressed with this budget. We oppose cuts that undermine the successful anti-hunger and anti-poverty programs. We strongly urge Congress to reject the president’s devastating proposals and develop a budget that keeps critical nutrition and support programs strong. We call on our fellow citizens to join us to ensure our nation keeps a firm commitment to helping people with physical and mental challenges, kids and seniors as well as hardworking families and recommit to the belief that no one in this great country should go hungry.”
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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.