Bill Would Increase Child Hunger, Advocates Warn
Ed Walz (Former Staff)Federal Budget Nutrition
Washington — The First Focus Campaign for Children, a bipartisan children’s advocacy organization, Tuesday sent a letter urging members of the United States Senate to reject legislation (S. 458) sponsored by Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), to cut federal funding for child nutrition. The proposal would cut Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps) funding by more than $36 billion over ten years. An analysis by the Campaign for Children’s partner organization, First Focus, confirms that 47 percent of SNAP funding goes to feed children.
“One in five children will go to bed tonight not knowing if their family will have enough to eat tomorrow, and this misguided proposal makes that problem worse,” said First Focus Campaign for Children President Bruce Lesley.
The bill would end SNAP eligibility for children and others who qualify for similar income-based federal initiatives, like the National School Lunch Program. The Campaign for Children estimates that this change will deny nutrition assistance to hundreds of thousands of children. The proposal would also end a related initiative that provides information and education to help families served by SNAP make healthy nutrition choices on a limited budget, so SNAP dollars can go further.
“Yes, the federal government has serious budget problems, but sending more children to bed hungry is the wrong way to solve them,” said Lesley.
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The First Focus Campaign for Children is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization affiliated with First Focus, a bipartisan children’s advocacy organization. The Campaign for Children advocates directly for legislative change in Congress to ensure children and families are a priority in federal policy and budget decisions. For more information, visit www.ffcampaignforchildren.org.