President’s Budget Proposes Great Harm to Low-Income Americans

President’s Budget Proposes Great Harm to Low-Income Americans

Statement by Kevin Mass, Board Chair Utahns Against Hunger

PDF version of statement available here.

Salt Lake City, May 23, 2017 – The White House is proposing $1,054 billion in cuts to critical anti-poverty programs, including $193 billion to federal nutrition assistance programs. These proposed cuts in the president’s FY 2018 budget are short-sighted and target the most vulnerable in our communities. While many people have benefited from an improving economy, many have not.  These programs provide a critical safety net to working parents, seniors, and those with disabilities, who are unable to work enough to move out of poverty. Instead of providing support and opportunity, these cuts will push low-income Americans farther down the economic ladder by ripping apart the safety net that provides a path out of hunger and poverty.

Federal nutrition assistance programs are proven and effective. They are vital to ensuring that struggling Americans—including children, adults, seniors, people with disabilities, veterans, and low-wage workers—get the nutrition they need for their health and well-being.

The vast majority of individuals served by SNAP are under the age of 17 (53.45 percent), over the age of 60 (5.83 percent), or have a disability (11.77 percent). Child nutrition programs like the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, and the Summer Food Programs ensure that all children have access to meals that keep them healthy and prepared to learn. More than one in three (35 percent) Utah students participate in free or reduced price meals.

Shredding these programs will have a devastating domino effect on Utahns in rural, suburban, and urban areas alike.  We can expect to see increases in health care costs, decreased productivity in the workforce, and worse academic outcomes for the next generation.

These proposed cuts to the nation’s safety net are unacceptable. Utah’s congressional delegation must stand against these proposed cuts and work across the aisle with their colleagues in Congress. They must return to the historic, bipartisan commitment to protect nutrition assistance programs and reject any budget proposal that leaves Americans struggling against hunger. They must protect these proven and effective programs.

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Utahns Against Hunger is a state-wide anti-hunger advocacy program whose mission is to increase access to food through advocacy, outreach and education.

 

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