Statement: MAZON Responds to USDA Report on Food Security
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Michelle Stuffmann
Phone: (424) 208-7203
MAZON Responds to USDA Report on Food Security
Los Angeles, September 6, 2017—Abby J. Leibman, President & CEO at MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, issued this statement in response to new data released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Economic Research Service:
“It is shameful that 15.6 million American households continue to struggle to put enough food on the table each day. Today’s report confirms that 12.3 percent of U.S. households experienced food insecurity in 2016, a statistic that remained essentially unchanged from the year prior (12.7 percent in 2015). We’d expect, given the rhetoric in Washington, D.C. about our nation’s economic recovery, that these numbers would be decreasing more significantly each year. Instead, they appear to be plateauing.
“But as accurate as this data was when it was collected, it no longer paints a complete picture of the magnitude of the need. The ferocious storms wreaking havoc across the American South will surely leave a wake of newly food insecure people in Texas, Louisiana and Florida. Some of those impacted by the storms will need help only for the short-term; but full recovery for others may take years, because businesses were destroyed and the jobs they provided have vanished.
“There is no charity in America that can meet the needs of so many vulnerable American men, women and children. They must be able to count on their government to give them a hand up in these difficult times. That’s why SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, aka food stamps), continues to be so vital, and why it’s the nation’s front line defense against food insecurity.
“SNAP effectively and efficiently helped 44 million Americans put food on the table in 2016. It’s likely that D-SNAP (SNAP that’s available to those impacted by federally recognized disasters) will make it possible for hundreds of thousands of people affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma to buy food. Yet despite SNAP’s clear value to the nation and in the lives of low-income families, the House’s 2018 Budget Resolution and the Administration’s 2018 budget both propose significant cuts that would increase hunger in America, especially among children, seniors, people in rural communities, disabled individuals, and veterans.
“We urge Congress to cease its efforts to undermine SNAP and the health and well-being of the tens of millions of Americans who rely on it.”
About MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger
Inspired by Jewish values and ideals, MAZON is a national advocacy organization working to end hunger among people of all faiths and backgrounds in the United States and Israel. For more information, please visit mazon.org.
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