Statement attributable to Luis Guardia, President, Food Research & Action Center (FRAC)
WASHINGTON, March 10, 2023 — FRAC commends the president’s proposed 2024 budget for investments in alleviating hardship, advancing equity, and creating economic opportunities for millions of families across the country. We are especially pleased to see that the budget includes increased support for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), school meals, and tax credits for families with lower incomes.
We are also heartened by the president’s messages about opportunities for the upcoming Farm Bill to strengthen the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), our nation’s first line of defense against hunger. In particular, the budget notes the importance of tackling barriers that undermine equitable SNAP access for college students with low incomes, formerly incarcerated individuals, youth who have aged out of foster care, kinship families, low-income individuals in the U.S. territories, and recipients facing time limits on SNAP eligibility.
Among many provisions, the budget would:
- expand community eligibility to allow 9 million more children to attend schools offering free meals to all students;
- provide additional funding of $6.3 billion to fully fund the estimated 6.5 million individuals expected to participate in WIC, strengthening the program’s ability to provide nutritious foods, nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and health care referrals to nutritionally at-risk infants, children up to 5 years old, and pregnant and postpartum individuals from households with low incomes;
- restore the expanded and fully refundable Child Tax Credit enacted in the American Rescue Plan, which cut child poverty in half in 2021; and
- permanently expand the Earned Income Tax Credit for workers without children to help lift workers with low wages out of poverty.
Investments in federal nutrition programs and other social programs are critical to mitigating America’s deepening hunger crisis, which has only been exacerbated by the loss of pandemic interventions, including free school meals for all children and temporary SNAP boosts.
In January, one in seven people reported their household sometimes or often did not have enough to eat, an increase from December, which was one in nine. The investments outlined in the president’s budget are a crucial down payment to ensuring that struggling households can get the nutrition they need for their health and well-being.
Hungry people can’t wait.
The Food Research & Action Center improves the nutrition, health, and well-being of people struggling against poverty-related hunger in the United States through advocacy, partnerships, and by advancing bold and equitable policy solutions. To learn more, visit FRAC.org and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.