In the President’s Budget, the Trump Administration made its priorities clear: additional tax cuts for wealthy corporations and individuals over food assistance for hungry children and families.
The President’s proposal to take food from families in need—by taking SNAP from adults who are unemployed or underemployed and cutting benefits by $180 billion over the next ten years—is not new. It follows this Administration’s continuous attacks on SNAP over the past year, including:
- The public charge rule discouraging immigrant families from accessing food assistance
- USDA’s final rule imposing work requirements and three-month time limits for SNAP benefits
- USDA’s proposed rule to eliminate state flexibility to set estimated household utility costs when calculating a family’s SNAP benefit level
- USDA’s proposed rule to limit a two-decade old policy that automatically enrolls children and families in SNAP if they are eligible and have applied for other benefits for low-income families
These ongoing acts of cruelty are completely counter to the evidence that SNAP and other food assistance programs work. Our recently-released State of America’s Children 2020 found SNAP helped feed 17 million children and lifted 1.4 million children out of poverty in 2018. SNAP has been proven to reduce food insecurity, improve overall health, and support academic success.
Despite the proven success of SNAP, nearly half of all families receiving SNAP in 2018 were still food-insecure and SNAP benefits averaged only $1.29 a person per meal for households with children. With more than 1 in 6 children living in food-insecure households, it’s time to strengthen proven food assistance programs, not make further cuts that jeopardize children’s health and development.
To learn more about how the Administration is failing to address harmful gaps in meal programs, visit the Child Hunger and Nutrition Chapter of State of America’s Children 2020.