nearly one in five Americans saying they struggle to afford enough food
for their households, President Barack Obama’s FY2014 budget, released
last week, protects and proposes to further strengthen federal nutrition
“President Obama’s budget recognizes the crucial role
the federal nutrition programs play in helping low-income people afford
and access healthy food. By proposing to restore the SNAP benefit cuts
scheduled to take place in November, and in his budget for nutrition
generally, he is assuring that the programs continue their successes in
reducing hunger and poverty, boosting health and learning, and providing
a base for early childhood development,” said FRAC President Jim Weill.
Congress takes up the Farm Bill, it also must ensure that struggling
Americans don’t suffer from mindless deficit reduction. Cutting SNAP
benefits and eligibility means less food for low-income people—children,
seniors, and working families,” continued Weill. “Fifty million
Americans struggle with hunger, and it is time for members of Congress—a
handful from both parties—to stop recycling bad ideas like benefit cuts
or structural changes to SNAP. The nation needs to address hunger with
the urgency the situation demands. Passing a good Farm Bill that
strengthens SNAP is the first step.”
The budget also:
- Supports continued implementation of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.
- Provides funding to support the 9.1 million individuals expected to
participate in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women,
Infants, and Children (WIC).
- Permanently extends improvements
in the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit that were
passed in the 2009 Recovery Act and continued as part of the January
“fiscal cliff” legislation, providing greater income support for
low-income working households.
- Provides $3 billion for the Low
Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), an increase of $450
million from last year’s request to reflect the rising cost of heating
- Addresses food deserts and the lack of healthy, affordable
food in communities by providing financing to community development
financial institutions, nonprofits, businesses, and public agencies with
strategies to address this gap.
- Provides $2 million in funding for the Emerson/Leland Hunger Fellowships.
Ongoing analysis of the President’s budget is available at FRAC: www.frac.org.