Feeding America is one of the largest hunger relief organizations in the United States. The non-profit organization provides food to more than 37 million Americans each year. An unstable economy, a rise in unemployment and a sudden wave of natural disasters in the U.S., are all contributing to a rise in hunger. The House Committee on Appropriations has approved dramatic cuts to several federal nutrition programs including SNAP, The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), the Commodity Supplement Food Program (CSFP), and the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).
Vicki Escarra, President and CEO of Feeding America, is urging House Appropriators to reject the proposed cuts. She claims that the proposed cuts are staggering, “It is not an overstatement to say that the House bill would make it harder for millions of low-income Americans to get enough to eat – Americans who are already struggling just to get by from day to day. These proposed cuts are indefensible. There is no other word for it."
In a letter that was signed by a coalition of over 34 national organizations the urgency was well noted, “[the] legislation would have a devastating impact on our most vulnerable citizens and erode the foundation of the emergency food network." The coalition is made up of hunger-relief, faith-based, and multiple other organizations that provide for those in need including the hungry, the homeless, and those at and below the poverty level.
Feeding America has been strained recently with the even harder economic times and the wave of weather related incidents that have swept across the nation. Already, the organization feeds one in seven American’s. If the cuts proposed are not stopped that number will only increase and as Escarra says, “Not only will our food banks not be able to meet the increased demand for food assistance if the cuts to nutrition programs go through, we will have to reduce current levels of support for existing clients."
The House bill goes to the floor later this month for a vote.