The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

Update on President's Budget and Proposed Cuts to SNAP: ACTION STEPS for Massachusetts Anti-Hunger Advocates!

Thanks to all of you who attended yesterday's SNAP Coalition meeting in Boston, and thanks to Ellen Vollinger of FRAC for her excellent, timely presentation of what's in the Pres's FFY18 budget and what's next. Keep in mind, the Presindent's Budget is a PROPOSED budget. The main action will start with Congress when they release their FFY18 budget (already delayed), likely sometime in June. Also keep in mind, we've been through this stuff before (2004, President Bush and a Republican-controlled House and Senate proposed cuts to SNAP, and successfully fought back). This ain't our first rodeo!

Below are some immediate resources from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), the Center on Law and Social Policy (CLASP) and Food Research Action Center (FRAC)

And ATTACHED are some MA specific resources including:

  • A May 10, 2017 letter from MLRI, MPHA, all four MA Food Banks, the Mass Retailers Association and Mass Food Association to the Mass Congressional Delegation. Use this with your local retailers !

  • A Fact Sheet on why SNAP Matters in Massachusetts and five client stories (note, the President's Budget does not include "block grants" but rather dramatic cost-shifting to states, but proposals in Congress may also include block grants.)  STORIES matter! 

  • MLRI's Press Statement of 5/23/17 on the President's budget.

What we need you to do this week:

  • Contact your Member of Congress, thank them for their hard work and ask them to immediately SPEAK OUT against the President's harmful proposals to the safety net.  

  • Ask your Local Grocers to also speak out! Grocers want to serve ALL members of their community, not just wealthy shoppers. Reach out to chains like Market Basket, Shaws, Hannifords, Shop and Shop, Big Y - which have stores in multiple states. They have a stake in this, ask them to speak out through their networks. 

  • Contact your Local Media and ask them to cover the story, invite them to visit your community meal program or food pantry, understand who will be hurt. 

  • Ask SNAP recipients to write a letter to Governor Baker telling him why SNAP is so important to them, how it has made a difference. Urge the Governor to speak out against ANY cuts, cost-sharing or restrictions to SNAP and ask the National Governor's Association to OPPOSE these cuts. Governor Baker is Vice-chair of the Health and Human Services Committee. 

  • Ask local Mayors to take a stand, both individually and through the U.S. Conference of Mayors. At yesterday's SNAP Coalition meeting, we asked the City of Boston to check in with Mayor Walsh and lead the charge for a letter to Congress or coordinate with the US Conf of of Mayors. We will keep you posted.

  • Ask Faith-based Communities to take a stand. According to Bread for the World, only 1 in 20 bags of food to needy households are provided by Food Banks and private charities. Charity cannot end hunger in America. Use the infographic far and wide and engage your faith community.  

  • Engage your social media circles with messages about defending and strengthening SNAP. Please tweet me too, @PatMLRI

Short Messages about the President's Budget Proposal from CBPP

  • The President's budget plan for SNAP would abandon the American commitment to ensure no child goes hungry in this country and would leave the unemployed, the elderly, and low-income working families with kids to bear most of the brunt of the cuts.

  • The billions in SNAP cuts would shift $116 billion in SNAP benefit costs to states, leaving states to choose between maintaining SNAP benefits, cutting them or raising taxes.

  • Taken alongside with the cuts proposed to Medicaid --$600 billion over ten years, on top of the already-massive cuts in Medicaid and subsidies for private health coverage in the House-passed bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act - the President's budget would result in millions more people struggling to meet a basic living standard.

  • Slashing and restructuring SNAP as the President proposes hurts the very people he promised to help.

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