By Margarette Purvis
President & CEO, Food Bank For New York City
Approximately 42 million Americans struggle with hunger – including nearly 1.4 million here in New York City. They confront impossible choices: keeping the roof over their heads, or food on their tables? medicine or a meal? subway fare to get to work, or milk for their children?
The measures outlined in the White House’s Fiscal Year 2018 “America First” budget blueprint will, if implemented, make these choices even more difficult. While it does not address core components of our nation’s response to hunger, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), emergency food, and school meals, it proposes devastating cuts to anti-poverty funding that provides housing assistance, legal services, home energy assistance, and even meals delivered to homebound seniors. This “America First” budget will deepen and intensify the everyday struggles of poor and vulnerable Americans.
We can anticipate that need for emergency food – already insufficient to meet existing demand at local food pantries and soup kitchens – will only increase. This budget blueprint, however, also eliminates key resources that help many charities on the front lines operate efficiently and effectively, such as AmeriCorps and the VISTA program.
As Congress initiates its role in the process, Food Bank For New York City will continue to work with our partners and representatives to protect and strengthen our nation’s safety net against hunger, and urge our friends and supporters to demand a reversal of the cuts to anti-poverty programs in the Administration’s budget blueprint.