Statement by the National Anti-Hunger Organizations
December 14, 2016 ─ Our organizations, which make up the National Anti-Hunger Organizations, are committed to ensuring a strong and effective national nutrition safety net for vulnerable, low-income individuals and families. With a united voice, we reflect on the hunger problem in America and its solutions as we transition to a new president and a new Congress.
There are 42 million people in this country — 13 million of them children and over 5 million of them seniors — living in households struggling with hunger. This problem would be far, far worse if not for the nation’s very effective anti-hunger programs:
- the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps);
- the National School Breakfast and School Lunch programs;
- the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) that provides nutritious meals for children in child care, Head Start, and afterschool programs and shelters;
- the Summer Meals programs;
- the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC);
- The Emergency Food Assistance Program ( TEFAP), which provides commodities to food banks;
- the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations; and
- nutrition programs for the elderly (e.g., the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) and congregate and home-delivered meals).
Together, these federal nutrition programs reduce hunger and poverty, improve health and learning, increase productivity, create jobs, and strengthen our communities. They help the many people in our country — of all ages, races, ethnicities, and life circumstances — who are struggling. This includes seniors, children, people with disabilities, military and veterans’ families, low-wage workers, unemployed and underemployed adults, and others.
In particular, SNAP, as our nation’s first line of defense against hunger, has the broadest reach. It is structured to respond effectively to need as a result of economic downturns, natural disasters, and other causes.
Soon, the new Congress and President-elect Trump will be sworn in and will begin making key decisions. We call on them to recommit America to one of its most important and widely agreed-upon beliefs, one that has deep and long-standing bipartisan support: nobody in this country should go hungry.
We call on them to safeguard the federal nutrition programs, including protecting the programs against block grants or other structural changes that would undermine their effectiveness; fully funding these programs and defending them against budget cuts; and taking steps to assure all hungry people in our country receive the help they need.
We look forward to working with the new Congress and President-elect Trump toward the goal of ending hunger in the United States.