With Congress currently considering severe cuts to nutritional programs, health organization and hunger advocacy groups are rallying public support to pressure Congress to protect these programs.
In the 2008 Farm Bill, the majority of federal spending is directed towards nutritional programs. These programs run the gamut from the traditional (such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, widely known as Food Stamps) to more local programs (such as funding to school lunch programs and support for local production and consumption).
All of these programs have come under fire in recent weeks. Earlier this month, Indiana Senator Dick Lugar reintroduced legislation that would cut nutritional spending by over half, significantly reducing Americans’ access to Food Stamps and other nutritional supports. In the House, Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan recently introduced a budget that would consist heavily of nutritional cuts.
In response to these perceived threats, health organizations across the country have banded together to support agricultural nutritional spending. The president of Bread for the World recently stated, “With unemployment still stuck over 8 percent nationally and millions of families struggling to put food on the table, it is inconceivable that Congress would make cuts to nutrition programs in the Farm Bill. The need for food assistance has never been greater,” while the vice president for public health policy and advocacy at the Public Health Institute said, “Cutting Farm Bill nutrition programs would devastate efforts to protect against hunger and improve nutrition, particularly among our nation’s children, seniors and low-income families.”
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer