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Statement on the House FY 2018 Budget Resolution

October 9, 2017

From Sue Sigler, Executive Director

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a Budget Resolution for the 2018 Federal Fiscal Year, including support from the California delegation. California Association of Food Banks is deeply disappointed by this vote and opposes any cuts to SNAP and the other safety net programs that help fulfill our mission to end hunger in California.

If enacted into law, this budget would slash Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (CalFresh in California), the school meals Community Eligibility Provision, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, and other vital social safety-net programs critical to ending hunger and poverty. At the same time, the Resolution would establish a process for tax cuts tilted to the wealthiest Americans. These sweeping measures will punish millions of California’s most vulnerable residents including children, seniors and people with disabilities.

At a time when California has the nation’s highest supplemental poverty rate of one in five, rising to one in four children, and one in eight households facing food insecurity, it is unconscionable that we would cut the programs proven to promote a healthy California.

In 2016, SNAP alone lifted an astonishing 800,000 Californians out of poverty. SNAP brought more than $7 billion in federally funded benefits to the state, supporting some 70,000 jobs as these benefits are spent and circulate in our communities.

Make no mistake; these proposed cuts to federal funding would overwhelm the charitable hunger-relief infrastructure. 19 out of 20 emergency meals come from the federal nutrition programs, while only one in 20 comes from food banks and other charitable providers. We could never fill the gap if these programs were cut. Ultimately, we would have to turn our backs on our neighbors when they need us most.

As the Budget progresses, we call on all California members of Congress to reject proposals to cut these proven pathways to fight hunger and poverty. Instead, we should protect and strengthen these vital programs.

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