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President Obama’s Budget Boosts Goals of Ending U.S. Child Hunger and Creating Food Jobs

February 1, 2010

President Obama proposed keeping the nation on track towards his goal of ending U.S. child hunger by 2015 by increasing funding for the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program and reiterating his support for an additional $10 billion over the next decade for improvements in the Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill expected to pass Congress this year.

The budget highlighted the potential of food-related jobs to support economic growth and job creation in a similar proposal previously made by  New York City Coalition Against Hunger Executive Director Joel Berg in a recent policy paper published by a Washington, DC-based think tank: http://www.progressivefix.com/ppi-releases-policy-report-on-food-jobs-and-hunger The President’s proposal calls for “nurturing local and regional food systems and expanding access to healthy foods for low-income Americans in rural and urban food deserts.” (http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2011/assets/agr.pdf)

Said Berg, “The President is putting his money where his mouth is, backing up his plans to end child hunger and create food-related jobs with real money. Such funds are desperately needed to meet the immediate hunger crisis that is slamming so many Americans during this downturn, and also to create the long-term economic growth that will reduce hunger at its root cause, poverty.”

President Obama’s budget gives a total of $8.1 billion in discretionary nutrition program supports, which equals a $400 million increase from last year’s funding. Along with strong support for the Child Nutrition Reauthorization, President Obama’s budget included:

–         $7.6 billion for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

–         $50 million for “Healthy Food Financing Initiative” focused on supermarket creation in underserved communities

–         A proposal to continue nutritional support from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) that includes an additional $20 average increase per month in food stamp/SNAP benefits, and a proposal to postpone time-limits in the food stamp/SNAP program for some working-age, low-income adults without dependents for another year

The complete President’s FY2011 Budget can be found at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Overview/

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Lily permalink
    February 2, 2010 12:17 am

    Why is no one talking about changing the way the US subsidizes commodity crops like corn and soy? If you really want to “increase access” to healthy food, MAKE IT CHEAPER TO BUY. Why is it more expensive to buy one head of broccoli that won’t even feed a family of 3 than to buy any number of Little Debbie’s or those other garbage-y snacks you can find filling the shelves of every bodega in poor communities? How can you argue with people when they need a full belly now and Mickey-D is there for them?

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