Introducing the first-ever edition of The Hunger Advocate, our new bi-weekly round-up of news articles about issues that affect hunger in Massachusetts and beyond.
'We would literally not survive': How Trump’s plans for the social safety net would affect America’s poorest (Washington Post, February 14)
The White House budget for Fiscal Year 2019 released last week proposes cuts to many of the most important basic needs programs such as SNAP, Medicaid, and housing assistance. While we should be outraged over the number of households impacted as well as the dollar amount of these cuts, we should keep the families affected by these cuts at the forefront of our efforts to defend these programs.
Why the Trump administration's new SNAP proposal is hard to swallow (Boston Globe, February 20)
One of the most surprising proposals in this budget is the idea to replace a substantial portion of SNAP benefits with boxes of food mailed by the government. These boxes would include non-perishable foods like peanut butter, shelf-stable milk, pasta, and canned goods including meats, fruits, and vegetables. Devra First of the Boston Globe tested out this idea and concluded that "the outrage is warranted.... The plan is almost willfully bad, from every angle."
White House Budget Calls For Deep Cuts To HUD (NPR, February 13)
In addition to the proposal to cut $213 billion from SNAP over 10 years, the budget also proposes cuts to several other programs that form the safety net for our struggling neighbors.
"Current rules require tenants receiving subsidies to pay at least 30 percent of their income on housing after deducting certain expenses such as medical and child care payments. The Trump administration does away with those deductions and additionally calls to raise the floor to 35 percent 'for all work-able households.'"
Hunger's tab in Mass. is $2.4 billion, report says (Boston Globe, February 13)
"Food insecurity has been linked to myriad health problems in adults and children. Now, a new report puts a dollar figure on the annual cost of hunger in Massachusetts: $2.4 billion.
The estimate comes from a new report by the Greater Boston Food Bank and the Children's HealthWatch, a nonpartisan network of pediatricians and researchers."
Even at elite colleges, students go hungry (Boston Globe, February 5)
"Hunger was once considered a problem isolated to community college and state school students, but estimates now suggest that anywhere from 10 to 20 percent of students at four-year colleges have struggled with enough to eat."
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