February 28, 2017 | By Abby J. Leibman
Abby J. Leibman, President and CEO at MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, today issued this statement in response to President Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress:
“In his address to Congress tonight, President Trump proposed additional defense spending for 2018 - and to fund that increase, he wants to drastically cut spending on domestic programs. Among the programs likely to be affected is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps).
“The President’s sweeping generalities and lack of details about what he will cut and when, creates terrible anxiety for tens of millions of families across this country, including those in the heartland, who rely on our nation’s safety net and whose lives will be devastated by cuts to those programs.
“To say we have a ‘safety net’ is not a term of art, but an accurate description of what these programs mean to struggling families. For the more than 44 million Americans facing food insecurity and poverty, SNAP is a lifeline that allows them to feed their families while they look for work, resolve medical issues or live on minimal fixed incomes. SNAP is the largest and most impactful anti-hunger initiative in the nation – and it works. It is unconscionable that we as a society would pull away that help in a moment when families need it most.
“President Trump stated in his address that he wants to break the cycle of poverty for Americans living in our nation’s poorest and most vulnerable communities. And yet, there is a profound disconnect between the rhetoric he issued about the need to address poverty, and the harmful actions proposed in his budget that would cut funding for safety net programs and only add to the problems of hunger and poverty.
“We heard nothing tonight that offers Americans assurance that President Trump’s words are more than empty rhetoric. To truly make good on what he claims, we urge President Trump and Congress to commit to a secure safety net by creating a budget that protects SNAP’s funding and structure, so the most vulnerable Americans have enough to eat and can move closer to realizing the American dream.”
About MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger
Founded in 1985, MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger is a leading nonprofit advocacy organization working to end hunger among people of all faiths and backgrounds in the United States and Israel. In January 2016, MAZON testified before the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Nutrition about hunger among military families and veterans. For more information, please visit mazon.org.