Washington, D.C. — Today the U.S. Department of Agriculture released its annual Household Food Security report, which found that in 2012, one in five children lived in a household that did not have access to enough food for a healthy and active lifestyle. Additionally, today’s data release shows no statistically significant change in the share of households struggling against hunger, which means that one in seven people lived in households running short on food in 2012. In response to these numbers, Melissa Boteach, Director of the Poverty to Prosperity Program at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:
Today’s news that there has been no significant downward movement in the share of Americans struggling with food insecurity should be a wake-up call to Congress to shift their focus from cutting nutrition assistance for struggling families to creating good jobs that grow the middle class. Given the fragile recovery and the elevated share of Americans needing help feeding their families, it’s truly unbelievable that House Republicans are considering cuts to nutrition aid that would cost our economy an average of 55,000 jobs in the first year alone.
House-proposed cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program would cut at least 4 million to 6 million people off nutrition assistance, including removing 200,000 low-income children from school meals. These cuts are on top of nutrition cuts already slated for this November, which will hit 22 million children, as well as the sequester winding its way through communities leaving children without access to Head Start, low-income workers without access to job training, and parents without affordable child care slots—the kinds of investments needed to help families move off nutrition aid in the first place.
It is time for Congress to shift their focus from cutting vulnerable families off of needed food aid, and to make investments in jobs and services that help them join the middle class.
For more information or to speak with an expert on this topic, contact Chelsea Kiene at [email protected] or 202.478.5328.