Currently in the U.S., more than 42 million people find themselves in a position where they sometimes don’t have the money they need to purchase food. About 95% of the help they receive comes from government programs. Only about 5% of those hunger needs are met by a web of hunger-relief programs, food banks, and churches. In response to the administration’s proposal to severely cut government food assistance programs, the Society of St. Andrew releases this statement:
Executive Director’s Action Alert
President Trump released his FY 2018 budget proposal this week. A budget proposal is a statement of our values and priorities as a nation. This proposal declares that the poor and the ill and the unfortunate in America are given too much help. To fix that situation, it proposes more than $190 billion dollars in cuts in SNAP, the federal food assistance program, over the next ten years. It also plans a reduction in funds for The Emergency Food Assistance Program, which supports food banks. These are in addition to sweeping cuts in funding for health, education, environmental protection, energy assistance, scientific study, and other crucial areas.
As part of America’s network of food assistance organizations, the Society of St. Andrew knows that we, and tens of thousands of food pantries and food banks, are doing all we can to assist families with the most basic of needs. We know that single mothers, children, the elderly, veterans and their families, underemployed adults, the physically and mentally disabled, and others suffering from poverty and hunger are not enjoying too much help.
It is now time for Congress to step up and show its support for the millions of Americans whose lives would be harmed by this budget. It is time for Congress not to decide how much to fold or how much to compromise, but instead to express its support for our nation’s most vulnerable citizens, those Jesus called “the least of these.”
We call on Congress to respond with an aggressive budget plan of its own: a plan that places a priority on those most in need. We ask Congress to demonstrate that it understands the importance of a strong social safety net and to work tirelessly to address systemic issues that leave 42 million of our neighbors at risk for hunger.
– Lynette Johnson, Executive Director
We urge everyone to make known their thoughts as Congress deliberates the FY 2018 federal budget. You can send your thoughts to your members of Congress. You might also write a letter to your newspaper editor, share your thoughts on social media, and talk with your friends and family about the type of budget, and type of nation, you want to see.