FRAC Releases New Polling Data Showing Overwhelming Support for Federal Efforts to End Hunger

Voters Strongly Support SNAP Funding

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jennifer Adach, 202.986.2200 x3018

Washington, D.C. – December 7, 2010 – In the wake of the recent election, 80 percent of Americans believe that hunger is a serious problem for the country that must be addressed, according to new poll data released today by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC). Those polled also believe overwhelmingly that the SNAP (food stamp) program must be protected in its key role of reducing hunger.

The poll of 802 registered voters was conducted by Hart Research Associates from November 5 – 8. Support for ending hunger and protecting SNAP from budget cuts was high across party lines, age, race, gender, income, and geographical areas.

The central findings of the poll were:

  • 80 percent of Americans believe that low-income children and families not being able to afford enough to eat is a very or fairly serious problem for the country. Only six percent said it was not a serious problem;
  • 81 percent believe the President’s goal of ending childhood hunger by 2015 is a very or fairly important goal for Congress and the President;
  • 82 percent said it was important for Congress and the President also to set a goal of ending senior hunger by 2015;
  • 74 percent say that SNAP is a program that is very or fairly important for the country;
  • 71 percent say that cutting SNAP would be the wrong way for Congress to reduce spending next year; and
  • 73 percent say that Congress should reduce other kinds of spending – not cut SNAP – to pay for increased funding for school lunches.

“Last week, Congress passed The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, a bill that includes important measures to improve participation and nutrition quality in the child nutrition programs, but that cuts future SNAP benefits to pay for the improvements. Congressional leaders and the President have committed to restoring that cut. Voters agree. Congress took one important step forward by passing this bill, but it’s time for them to take the second step and immediately fix the cut to SNAP benefits,” said FRAC President Jim Weill. “Americans want to ensure that low-income children and families have the food and nutrition they need, both at school and at home.”

Support for the SNAP program and for addressing hunger was strong across all demographic and party groups. Some of the particular findings included:

  • 94 percent of Democrats, 84 percent of Independents, and 63 percent of strong Republicans believe that low-income children and families not being able to afford enough to eat is a very or fairly serious problem for the country;
  • 80 percent of voters age 18 – 34 feel the federal government has a responsibility to make sure that low-income families and children have the food and nutrition they need;
  • 98 percent of Democrats, 80 percent of Independents, and 63 percent of Republicans believe the President’s goal of ending childhood hunger by 2015 is a very or fairly important goal for Congress and the President;
  • 84 percent of urban, 80 percent of suburban and 82 percent of rural voters believe it is also important for the President and Congress to set a goal of ending senior hunger by 2015;
  • 91 percent of Democrats, 79 percent of Independents, and 56 percent of strong Republicans believe that SNAP is an important program for the country; and
  • 86 percent of Democrats, 70 percent of Independents, and 63 percent of strong Republicans oppose cutting SNAP benefits to pay for an increase in school lunch funding.

“Americans want to see an end to hunger, and they believe that the federal government must play a pivotal role in accomplishing that task,” continued Weill. “These findings demonstrate that Americans want Congress to make fighting hunger a priority and they want Congress and the President to recognize the absolutely essential role of SNAP.”

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