Sequestration And The Impact On Hungry Americans
Feeding America Warns Cuts Will Hurt the Most Vulnerable
February 27, 2013
Feeding America today warned that the sequestration cuts scheduled to take place on March 1 will have devastating consequences for low-income Americans living in food-insecure households. Feeding America is the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, providing food and groceries to more than 37 million Americans each year through more than 200 member food banks and the 61,000 food pantries and soup kitchens they serve.
Discretionary programs that are subject to sequestration would see a projected 5 percent reduction in funds for the remainder of fiscal year 2013. Nutrition programs that would face this automatic cut include:
- The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women Infants and Children (WIC) would require a caseload reduction of 600,000 low-income women, infants, and children. These cuts would put some of our most vulnerable families at risk of hunger and poor nutrition. At least 1,600 state and local jobs could also be lost as a result.
- TEFAP storage and distribution funding, which help food banks meet the costs of getting food out to hungry families, would see a cut of roughly $2.4 million. This would reduce funding food banks need to store and distribute food at a time of increased demand and tightened resources. Food banks experienced a 46 percent increase in clients served from 2006 to 2010, and most food banks report that need remains elevated or continues to grow.
- The Meals on Wheels Association of America estimates that senior feeding programs like Meals on Wheels would be able to serve 19 million fewer meals to vulnerable seniors.
“If the sequestration cuts take place on March 1, low-income Americans will be among the hardest hit. These cuts will literally take food away from babies, hot meals away from home-bound seniors, and hamper the ability of our nation’s food banks to get food to hungry people in their communities,” said Bob Aiken, president and CEO of Feeding America. “We cannot allow the health and well-being of our most vulnerable citizens to be put at risk.”
Several important low-income safety net nutrition programs are exempt from the across the board cuts, including The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), mandatory USDA commodities, The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), and child nutrition programs (except special milk).
About Feeding America
Feeding America is a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. Together, we provide food to more than 37 million people through 61,000 food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters in communities across America. Feeding America also supports programs that improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a role in ending hunger. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. Educate. Together we can solve hunger. Visit http://www.feedingamerica.org/. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FeedingAmerica or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/FeedingAmerica.