ISSUE AREA: FOOD SECURITY
Ending hunger is a moral imperative. Nutrition programs must reach all who struggle with hunger in our nation.
Respecting the dignity of each and every person, we affirm that every human being has a right to healthy, adequate nutrition. While acts of charity and religious and non-profit organizations help to alleviate hunger, a just solution requires the federal government to take responsibility for the overall well-being of its people. By creating and supporting funding for nutrition programs, the government alleviates immediate hunger and works toward ending hunger entirely. We know that nutrition assistance programs help lift people out of poverty and have lasting positive effects on other outcomes, like health. In a nation as wealthy as the United States, ending hunger is possible and is a moral imperative.
NETWORK Advocates for Federal Policies That:
Provide nutrition for children, the elderly, and those struggling with poverty.
U.S. food policy should be comprehensive and responsive, focusing attention on the most vulnerable: 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 25% 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 also continue to support low wage, under-employed workers, and those looking for work as the additional benefits help make ends meet. Programs should strive to reach all 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 families struggling financially stay afloat.
Fund nutrition programs to serve every population with consistency, while encouraging innovation and improvement in the programs.
In a tight fiscal environment where the federal 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 record these programs have of 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 does not come at the expense of cuts from another food or human needs program.