WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) and Congresswoman Barbara Lee, chair of the Democratic Whip Task Force on Poverty, Income Inequality, and Opportunity, released the following statement today on a report by the White House Council of Economic Advisors on nutrition assistance:
“Today’s report by the White House Council of Economic Advisors underscores the importance of federal nutrition assistance to those at risk of hunger, especially children. With 46 million Americans living in poverty, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) remains one of the most critical tools our nation has in the fight against poverty. For 2.1 million children last year, SNAP was instrumental in ensuring they received the nutrition necessary for healthy development and a decrease in their chances of developing diseases like diabetes and heart disease later in life. At the same time, SNAP has helped stave off malnutrition among those who are pregnant, and it has been a lifeline to many seniors and those living with disabilities.
“What concerns us deeply about today’s report is its finding that, while SNAP continues to keep millions from starving, the program is insufficient to meet the challenge of hunger in America. A growing share of those receiving nutrition assistance are income-earning households, which means that even those who work are finding it hard to put food on the table in 2015, as a result of stagnant wages. Additionally, even with SNAP’s help, millions are still having trouble feeding their families as the assistance does not fully cover a month’s worth of food for many families. We can and must do better.
“The Democratic Whip Task Force on Poverty, Income Inequality, and Opportunity will continue to push for greater investment in SNAP to keep Americans from going hungry, just as we will keep fighting for higher wages and the creation of more jobs and opportunities that help families escape poverty’s grip. We call on Speaker Ryan and House Republicans to take this report to heart and work with Democrats to address the challenges of poverty and food insecurity with seriousness and a recognition of the responsibility we all have toward one another as fellow Americans.”