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Emily Pickren

Statement attributed to James D. Weill, president, Food Research & Action Center

WASHINGTON, February 6, 2019 — While the economy and job market have improved for many since the Great Recession, they fall far short for millions of low- and moderate-income people. According to a recent report from the Federal Reserve, in 2017, four in 10 adults said they wouldn’t be able to come up with $400 in an emergency without sliding into debt or having to sell some of their possessions.

The recent government shutdown, which left 800,000 federal workers and uncounted federal contractors without a paycheck for over a month underscored the financial precarity that millions of Americans live with day-to-day. The shutdown also wreaked havoc on the very programs meant to provide assistance during emergencies and help low-income people make ends meet.

In his State of the Union address, the president failed to offer any recommendations to help people in all corners of the country who live paycheck to paycheck and struggle to make ends meet. The Administration must stop its attacks on SNAP, Medicaid, housing assistance, and other programs and improve their responsiveness to the ongoing struggles of the millions left unmentioned by the president last night.


The Food Research & Action Center is the leading national nonprofit organization working to eradicate poverty-related hunger and undernutrition in the United States.