Will Congress choose need or greed? Cutting the federal deficit means making some tough choices. The new report, Food Choices: Families or Corporations and online petition asks Congressional super committee members to look at bloated federal subsidies for giant corporations before they cut food assistance struggling families depend on.
Released in partnership with the Praxis Project, the report details the critical role the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s family nutrition programs play in feeding one out of eight Americans.
The report and petition both urge legislators to protect safety net programs and made specific policy recommendations to the super committee including:
- Protect the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the free and low-cost National School Lunch Program (NSLP), and the supplemental grant program Woman, Infants and Children (WIC). Cuts in food and nutrition programs would harm families already negatively impacted by the economic downturn.
- Retain SNAP’s status as an entitlement program rather than convert it into a block grant. Cutting SNAP would not only be disastrous for families, but for the economy, as well. For every $1 in payments to families, $1.72 circulates back into the economy.
- Shift USDA subsidies and commodity contracts toward promoting healthy, local, sustainably produced foods and seek to align food prices with national nutritional priorities to create a fair playing field for healthy food.
- Encourage USDA food procurement programs and institutional food providers to consider the benefits of locally and sustainably produced, healthy and fair trade foods and to take steps to incorporate these into their programs.
- Promote equity, justice and appropriate competition in the food and agriculture industries and prioritize expenditures that recognize the established link between nutrition and health.
The new report, Food Choices: Families or Corporations can be found here.