Christian Leaders Urge California Lawmakers to Protect Programs for Hungry and Poor People
Los Angeles, CA, July 19, 2011
Bread for the World and California religious leaders called on all of the state’s members of Congress—especially Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), as well as House Majority Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)—to form a circle of protection around programs that meet the essential needs of hungry and poor people in California, the rest of United States, and abroad.
“The proposed cuts will be harmful to many Californians,” said Holly Hight, Bread for the World’s California field organizer, at a press conference this morning. “We urge our senators and representatives in both parties to protect programs for vulnerable people from being cut in the federal budget debates.”
These cuts would have a significant and immediate impact on the most vulnerable Californians, particularly children and very low-income households. More than 3.2 million people in California received SNAP or CalFresh benefits—formerly food stamps—last year.
“The proposed cuts would limit food purchasing power for many families and force them into food insecurity,” said Matt Sharp, a senior advocate with California Food Policy Advocates. “Nutrition programs like WIC and CalFresh have too often been incorrectly characterized as government waste, but they’re actually investments in families that can least afford basic necessities.”
Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop Alexander Salazar was among a diverse group of speakers at today’s press conference, held at Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles, the church of moderator Rev. Elizabeth Gibbs Zehnder. Other speakers included Rev. Carissa Baldwin of All Saints Episcopal Church and Rev. William Epps of Second Baptist Church.
“The moral measure of this federal budget is not which party wins or which powerful interests prevail, but rather how those who are jobless, hungry, homeless, or poor are treated,” said Bishop Salazar. “Their voices are too often missing in these debates, but they have the most compelling moral claim on our consciousness and our common resources. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.”
Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation's decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.
Kristen Y. Archer, Acting Manager for Media Relations, 202-688-1118