STATEMENT OF THE HUNGER COALITION IN OPPOSITION TO BUDGET CUTS IN FEDERAL FOOD ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS
At The Hunger Coalition, our mission over the past 15 years has been to provide wholesome food to low income families and to promote solutions to the underlying causes of food insecurity through collaboration, education and advocacy.
In support of our mission and on behalf of the community we serve, The Hunger Coalition strongly opposes the steep budget cuts and program revisions to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) proposed by the current administration. If enacted as proposed by President Trump, federal food assistance support would decrease by 30% — a deep and devastating cut that will hurt many hundreds of our friends and neighbors in Blaine County who currently rely on SNAP benefits to help feed themselves and their families.
This is no time to cut SNAP benefits. The lines at our food distribution centers are longer than ever this winter, making clear that current SNAP funding is already inadequate to meet the nutritional needs of many members of our community. Based on research in the 2015 Blaine County Community Food Assessment, a family of four has to spend $225 each week to meet their minimum nutrition needs. Current SNAP benefits cover only a portion of those food expenses. These limited SNAP benefits are the only way many people are able to afford to live and work in Blaine County. Virtually all SNAP recipients are seniors, disabled, or working people making insufficient wages – and, of course, many, many children.
SNAP is a vital part of our community’s safety net. Many people who suffer a financial setback due to an unexpected illness or accident, irregular income from seasonal employment, or the like access SNAP benefits (and/or visit The Hunger Coalition) just until they can get back on their feet. Severe cuts to SNAP of the type proposed by the Trump Administration will certainly make such recovery much more difficult and time-consuming. When the opportunity for quicker recovery is available, our whole community benefits, not just in improved lives but also in increased economic vitality.
As generous as our community has been in support of The Hunger Coalition, we will never have the capacity to make up the difference if federal food assistance funding is decreased as the President has proposed. Many of our friends and neighbors whom we all rely upon to make our Sun Valley area special will suffer.
Congress will soon be deciding next year’s SNAP budget. Please contact our Congressman Mike Simpson and ask him to reject the Administration’s budget proposal and support traditional full funding for SNAP. You can send a message to Congressman Simpson by calling his office at 202-225-5531 or emailing him through his website: www.simpson.house.gov.
For more information, contact Jeanne Liston at 208-788-0121.