By Bryana Braxton
President Obama submitted his final budget, for fiscal year 2017, to Congress on Tuesday, proposing new approaches to ending child hunger and poverty.
“Improving the opportunity and economic security of poor children is both a moral and an economic imperative,” the budget says. “There is now substantial evidence that further relations are needed to meet our 21st century poverty challenges.”
The $4.15 trillion budget proposes funding for new initiatives, including an Emergency Aid and Service Connection Grants program, giving short- and long-term financial assistance to families in crisis. The budget will establish a permanent Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer for Children program, helping families purchase groceries and feed their children year-round.
The budget will also increase funding for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and maintain strong funding for SNAP (formerly food stamps), and the WIC program, which provides nutrition assistance to pregnant mothers and young children.
These programs are designed to reduce poverty by helping parents find jobs and feed their children year-round.
Bread for the World believes the federal budget is a moral document that sets important priorities for our nation. Strong funding for programs that help families lift themselves out of poverty will build on important legislative progress in Congress, such as the Senate Agriculture committee’s passage of the Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act last month.
Bread applauds Obama in taking this important step to end hunger and poverty for low-income families. We will continue to work with the White House and Congress to pass a strong budget for 2017.
“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, Bread’s president. “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 budget is a road map to a future that embodies America’s values and aspirations: a future of opportunity and security for all of our families,” Obama said in a statement Tuesday.
Bryana Braxton is a communications intern at Bread for the World and a student at American University.