Our mission at The Idaho Foodbank is to feed, educate and advocate for Idaho’s hungry. Advocacy often means taking a role of speaking for Idaho’s most vulnerable when issues arise which could have a detrimental effect on the families, children, and seniors who are in need. Today, we’re asking for our supporters to help us spread the word about one such issue.
President Trump’s latest federal budget proposal takes direct aim at federal safety net programs and could result in at least 4.5 billion fewer meals for hungry families each year.
Federal nutrition programs are critical to helping families facing hunger. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps families make ends meet by stretching their grocery budgets. Sometimes called “food stamps,” those few SNAP dollars every week make all the difference in the world when it comes to putting nutritious meals on the table. The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) provides food banks with nutritious food from U.S. growers and producers and also helps transport and store the food. The food banks and pantries supported by TEFAP are a big part of how food goes from farm to table. In fact, without the program, fewer meals make it onto the plates of hungry families and farmers are forced to let fresh, nutritious food wither and rot.
Even with recent improvements in the economy, nearly 173,000 Idahoans still rely on the assistance of the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). According to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, nearly 96,000 of those people are children or elderly. The funding and administration of the program is critical to the efforts of solving hunger in Idaho. Adding hurdles and difficulty to access the help they need only exacerbates problems and worsens the burden.
Further, these cuts would add strain to the nonprofits which are already operating at capacity. The Idaho Foodbank and the charity network are not in a position to expand to meet increased demand for food assistance. Even with the support of Idahoans to increase our services over the last five years, The Idaho Foodbank is still not reaching every Idahoan who is in need today. Adding to that number helps no one. Cuts to the programs that serve these populations would be harmful to the nonprofit community, but worse for the people in Idaho and the communities that are left without the help they need.
We trust that our congressional delegation will continue to consider the needs of Idahoans who are struggling and need our support. Please join us in letting them know that we care about all Idahoans. Take action now!