Attributed to Kate Leone, Chief Government Relations Officer
“If the cuts to federal nutrition programs included in the administration’s fiscal year 2020 budget released today became law, they would undermine local economies and increase hunger, particularly among children and seniors.
“The budget makes drastic changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). It cuts the program by nearly one third, in part by reintroducing the inefficient and high-cost America’s Harvest Box plan. From our experience, the complications and costs of this program would result in taking food away from hungry families to run a large and bureaucratic system.
“The current SNAP system works because it’s a partnership with businesses and grocery stores that do the heavy lifting to connect families with food. The administration’s proposal to switch to government distributed food boxes would result in losing out on the many efficiencies of building on the free market grocery store food chain network.
“The budget also makes devastating cuts to programs for children and seniors. The budget would impair student access to free and reduced-price school meals by adding red tape and significant administrative burdens to schools and families. In addition, the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), which provides nutritious USDA foods each month to supplement the diets of more than 730,000 lower-income seniors age 60 and over, would be eliminated.
“We also want to highlight potentially harmful changes to the structure of Section 32. Currently, USDA uses Section 32 to provide market support to U.S. grown food and distributes the food to food banks and schools. The proposed budget would cap the funds available for this program. The real-world impact of this change would be to reduce the overall assistance to growers and producers as well as the nutritious food provided to food banks and schools.
“We urge Congress to reject the proposed budget and work together to find solutions that will help Americans struggling to put food on the table.”
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About Feeding America
Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of more than 200 food banks, 21 statewide food bank associations, and over 60,000 partner agencies, food pantries and meal programs, we helped provide 5.3 billion meals to tens of millions of people in need last year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; brings attention to the social and systemic barriers that contribute to food insecurity in our nation; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.