California Association of Food Banks Warn that Senate Budget May Lead to Slashing of Safety-Net Programs
October 20, 2017
Oakland – The U.S. Senate today passed a Budget Resolution for the Federal Fiscal Year 2018. Anti-hunger advocates warn that this greenlights Congress to enact a tax plan that takes from the poor to give to the rich. Proposed cuts in the plan are tilted to the wealthy and slash trillions of dollars over ten years from programs that serve people with low and moderate incomes, including cuts to Medicaid and Medicare, income assistance for working-poor and other struggling families, nutrition assistance, college affordability, job training and education, environmental protections, and public health initiatives.
The vote occurred as news about the devastation of natural disasters, including California wildfires, dominates the media. Fires in California have destroyed entire working class communities, leaving residents without food and shelter. Previous disasters have resulted in an increased need for social safety-net programs like Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly food stamps.
“The timing of this vote couldn’t come at a crueler time,” said Sue Sigler, Executive Director of California Association of Food Banks. “We have thousands of fire victims in California facing years of rebuilding their lives. These families shouldn’t have to go hungry so the wealthiest among us can have lower taxes.”
California has the highest percentage of people living below the poverty line in the country when the cost of housing is taken into consideration. One in eight households faces hunger. Hunger disproportionately affects children and seniors. One out of every four California kids may go to bed hungry each night.
California Association of Food Banks and its members joined hundreds of national agriculture, nutrition, conservation, and other groups in a letter to the House and Senate Budget and Appropriation chairs and ranking members that urged them to reject the outlined cuts to safety-net programs.
“Food banks and community-based organizations simply cannot absorb the increase in demand such cuts would result in,” said Sigler. “We’re ready to fight tooth and nail against any tax plan that proposes decreases to entitlement programs because we are not willing to let our community members go hungry.”
CAFB has access to spokespeople from local food banks, and clients, affected by these cuts who can speak on this issue.
About California Association of Food Banks
California Association of Food Banks partners with 41 food banks and over 6,000 local agencies. Our mission is to end hunger in California, and our vision is a well-nourished and hunger-free California, where all people have enough food to lead a healthy life. Learn more at www.cafoodbanks.org.