Washington, D.C.–Bread for the World applauds the president’s proposed fiscal year 2017 budget, released yesterday, especially for the ways it proposes to address child hunger.
“The president’s budget would make important investments to help hungry children and ensure they are able to reach their full potential,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “Bread for the World applauds the president’s continued leadership in addressing child hunger and hopes that Congress will pass legislation this year to strengthen child nutrition programs.”
The president’s $4.1 trillion budget request proposes new initiatives to combat child hunger in the U.S., including permanent improvements to programs that connect hungry children with meals during the summer months. The budget also increases funding for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and includes strong funding for food assistance programs such as SNAP (formerly food stamps) and the WIC program, which provides nutrition assistance to pregnant mothers and young children.
In addition to strengthening the safety net, the budget expands access to Head Start, early education, and job training programs, and strengthens the earned income tax credit (EITC) for working adults without children.
The budget request also represents a continuation of the administration’s commitment to ending preventable deaths worldwide, but comes up short when addressing malnutrition. The request includes a $16.5 million cut to global nutrition programs. Congress must reverse this cut and increase funding for nutrition programs that are critical to ending preventable child deaths.
The budget includes $15 million for the USDA Local and Regional Procurement Program, which was authorized in the 2014 farm bill. Bread for the World encourages Congress to ensure as much flexibility as possible for vouchers and local purchases of food so that mothers and children overseas receive nutritionally appropriate food aid quickly and efficiently.
“Bread for the World calls on Congress to fund these proposals in upcoming budget negotiations,” added Beckmann. “Lawmakers should continue to build upon U.S. leadership in global nutrition, and increase funding for programs that enable mothers and children around the world to survive and thrive.”