The mission of the Food Bank of Delaware is to “provide nutritious foods to Delawareans in need and facilitate long-term solutions to the problems of hunger and poverty through community education and advocacy.”
As we work each day to fulfill this mission, we are saddened by the budget proposal put forward by President Trump last week. According to an analysis of the budget conducted by Feeding America, this budget will eliminate the important Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) and dramatically cut Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, while making dramatic changes in other food assistance programs.1
These programs will affect millions of Americans and thousands of Delawareans. Last fiscal year, the Food Bank of Delaware distributed over 27,850 meal boxes to over 2,250 Delaware seniors through the CSFP program. These seniors, many on a fixed income, will have few other options for support without this needed program. According to a recent report by the United States Department of Agriculture, SNAP benefits were distributed to a monthly average of 147,559 Delawareans in over 39,275 households in FY2016. Those benefits directly help many families put food on their table and every dollar of SNAP benefits result in $1.80 in economic activity.2
In its current structure, SNAP allows families to select food items that fit with their families diet and to make their own food choices. Everyone should have that choice, no matter their income level. Additionally, the added cost of creating the meal boxes, suggested in the President’s budget, and distributing them will invariably take money away from the program to meet unnecessary costs in overhead. As if the threats to these programs weren’t severe enough, the proposed budget also threatens to eliminate the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), the School Meal Equipment Grants and all nutrition education accompanying SNAP.
These eliminations and cuts are not good for Delaware families. In our work, the Food Bank of Delaware sees each day the valuable impact that all nutrition programs, particularly CSFP and SNAP, have on our communities.
We cannot sit idly by and watch their impacts eroded. We call upon our members of Congress to fight these proposals and ensure that every Delawarean has access to these vital programs.
If you would like to join us in asking our members of Congress to fight these proposals, please contact our Congressional delegation:
Senator Thomas R. Carper
(202) 224-2441 or
Senator Christopher A. Coons
Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester