I had the honor of listening in on a call this morning with Representatives Rosa DeLauro (CT-3) and George Miller (CA-7) and the press where they discussed the cuts included in the Agriculture and FDA Appropriations bill, which will be debated on the floor of the House of Representatives this week.
The Agriculture and FDA Appropriations bill has been slashed by 13.4%, or $2.6 billion below FY2011. Included are cuts to critical nutrition and anti-hunger programs, such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), which could be cut by more than $650 million, meaning that up to 350,000 women and children could go hungry and will not have access to the nutrition they need. The Commodity Supplement Food Program, which mainly assists low-income seniors, and the Emergency Food Assistance Program, which helps assist states with food banks, could also see their funding cut by up to 20%.
On the call Congressman Miller stated that: “Nutrition is essential to thrive and grow” and that “cuts to WIC will increase health costs.”
Congresswoman DeLauro pointed out that “WIC is not an admin expense. It is about nutrition education, breast feeding support, screening for harmful substance abuse and ensuring people are on a healthy lifestyle path that will only save money in the future.”
Call your representative by using a toll-free number, 877-698-8228 provided by Feeding America. After a brief message you’ll be asked to enter your zip code to connect directly to your House member’s office. Once you are connected:
• Tell them that you are a constituent and state the name of the town you are calling from.
• Let them know you are calling about the FY2012 Agriculture Appropriations legislation
• Deliver this message:
I am a supporter of my local food bank and I urge you to vote AGAINST the FY2012 Agriculture Appropriations legislation, which cuts funding for TEFAP commodities, CSFP, WIC and SNAP reserve funds. Cutting safety net programs is the wrong way to balance the budget. Food banks across the country will not be able to meet the increased demand for food assistance if nutrition programs like TEFAP, CSFP, WIC and SNAP are cut.
For more information about how you can help take action against hunger, please contact Lisa Sherrill at (925) 676-7543 extension 206 or firstname.lastname@example.org.