ISSUE AREA: FOOD SECURITY
NETWORK advocates for nutrition programs designed to feed all who struggle with hunger in our nation. It is a moral imperative that we work to end hunger.
In the spirit of Catholic Social Justice, NETWORK believes that every human being is entitled to adequate nutrition. While acts of charity and the work of religious and non-profit organizations that help to alleviate hunger are critical, a justice-focused solution requires the federal government take responsibility for the overall well-being of its people. Our government must create and support funding for programs that work to alleviate immediate hunger and end hunger in the long-term. We know that nutrition assistance programs help lift people out of poverty and have lasting effects on other outcomes, like health. These programs also reduce the number of children and adults who are food insecure, meaning they lack consistent access to adequate food. In a nation as wealthy as the United States, we at NETWORK believe that ending hunger is possible and is a moral imperative.
NETWORK Advocates for Federal Policies That:
Focus on providing nutrition for children, the elderly, and those struggling in poverty
U.S. food policy should be comprehensive and responsive, focusing attention on the most vulnerable groups of people: children, people who are experiencing poverty, and the elderly. A majority of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households include families with children and more than one-quarter have seniors or people with disabilities in the household. Millions of children receive free or reduced price breakfast and lunch in schools, as well as meals in the summer. Programs should continue to support low-wage and under-employed workers, as the additional benefits help make ends meet, as well as those looking for work, unable to work, or unable to find work. Programs should strive to reach all people who are eligible. They should allow people to receive nutrition assistance with dignity, including meeting dietary and cultural needs and accessing a variety of food necessary for good health, like fresh fruits and vegetables. Food and nutrition programs must continue to serve as a quick and effective first response in times of economic downturn, as they help keep families experiencing poverty afloat.
Adequately fund nutrition programs to serve every population with consistency, while encouraging innovation and improvement in the programs
In a tight fiscal environment where government prioritizes reducing the deficit and debt over funding human needs programs, food security programs are often on the table for cuts. Given the proven impact these programs have on lifting people out of poverty and serving as economic stimuli, food security supports should be supported rather than slashed. It is critical that increased funding for one food program should not come at the expense of cuts from another food or human needs program.
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
- Child Nutrition Reauthorization
- Child and Adult Care Food Programs