President’s FY 2012 Budget Proposal Includes Restoration of SNAP Cuts

Washington, D.C. – February 14, 2011 – The budget released by President Barack Obama today provides strong support for the federal nutrition programs and the anticipated growth in those programs – especially as tens of millions of Americans continue to struggle with food insecurity, hunger, unemployment, and wages and hours of work that are inadequate to support families. It covers expected growth in SNAP (food stamps) and child nutrition programs and funds the key elements of the recently passed Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act. Importantly, the President also proposes to restore the cuts to SNAP made in December to partially finance child nutrition reauthorization, and proposes to suspend for an ad­ditional fiscal year the time limits for certain working-age, low-income adults without dependents.

FRAC applauds the President for including the restoration of the SNAP cuts in his budget proposal, and is committed to working with the Administration and with Congress to ensure that the restoration is implemented. Both of the SNAP provisions included in the President’s budget address the need for a strong nutrition safety net for the many families that continue to struggle as the economy recovers from the terrible recession.

In addition to the SNAP provisions, and the general funding support for mandatory programs, the budget:

  • Recognizes the crucial role of the Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC) by funding this discretionary program at a level to serve expected participation.
  • Supports improvements made by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (the child nutrition reauthorization bill), including new funding for school breakfast expansion grants and state and local anti-hunger efforts, and identifies the reauthorization as a key part of the effort to meet the President’s goal of ending childhood hunger by 2015.
  • Includes funding to support the Healthy Food Financing Initiative, taking a stride forward in the effort to tackle food deserts.

FRAC will work with our partner groups to prevent cuts in other important assistance programs for low-income individuals, particularly the Low Income Heating Assistance Program (LIHEAP) (low-income households often face a choice between food and fuel) and the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG). Also, FRAC will work with Congress toward restoring not just the SNAP cut included in the child nutrition bill, but the larger SNAP cut made in last year’s FMAP bill. And as the nutrition programs have grown, the budget needs to begin to address the stresses on the federal Food and Nutrition Service, which has become increasingly short-staffed, essentially losing half its staff over a period that SNAP participation has doubled, WIC quadrupled, and initiatives like those for healthy eating in child nutrition reauthorization have added important new areas of work.

FRAC will have ongoing analysis available on its website (www.frac.org) on the President’s FY2012 budget proposal, as well as the FY2011 continuing resolution.