For the third year in a row, we at the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank find ourselves on the defensive with a harmful budget proposal from the Trump Administration.
The President’s spending plan calls for massive cuts in vital safety net programs – including $220 billion in deep cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, CalFresh in California) over the next 10 years.
If you’re a longtime supporter of the Food Bank, then you probably know just how devastating this proposal would be for our community. SNAP helps put food on the table for over 40 million Americans, four million Californians, and tens of thousands of people in our service area of Marin and San Francisco. It’s THE most important and effective program we have to fight hunger and serves as a lifeline to those who don’t make enough money to provide three square meals a day for themselves and family members.
MORE NOT LESS
Now is the time to invest in food assistance efforts rather than diminishing them. While the economy is strong, we should bolster programs such as SNAP with benefit levels that support better nutrition. Income requirements for these programs should be designed to account for cost-of-living disparities, so that applicants in high-cost areas—such as San Francisco and Marin—are guaranteed equitable access to food assistance.
Through cruel and ill-conceived ideas, like a renewed push to replace SNAP benefits with so-called “harvest boxes”, the President’s proposed budget poses a grave threat to our most vulnerable neighbors. The harvest box proposal stigmatizes people who are struggling to make ends meet. More importantly, it replaces SNAP, an efficient system where people shop for themselves in a grocery store and pay with an electronic benefits card, with a program requiring an entirely new distribution system that would likely be more expensive, less efficient, and provides less nutritional value for those it purports to serve.
CALL TO ACTION
We continue to remain firmly committed to using our voice to elevate the importance of federal nutrition programs like SNAP and call on the community to reach out to their members of Congress to oppose these cuts to SNAP and other vital programs.
Our tagline at the Food Bank is “Food For All” – a simple phrase with a big meaning. When we make healthy food available for all, our community thrives. Any effort to undermine that is simply undermines the greatness and health of our country.