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President’s food box proposal is a step backward in ending hunger

February 14, 2018 – In any given month, more than 650,000 Oregonians are enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) to ensure they have enough to eat. SNAP is used in rural towns, major cities and sleepy suburbs. Most people who receive benefits are under 18, over 60, or disabled.

Oregon Food Bank is dismayed by the president’s proposed FY 2019 budget. Its drastic cuts and structural changes to SNAP would affect people living in Portland, Ontario, Klamath Falls, Florence and all communities in between.

The president’s SNAP USDA Food Box proposal is flawed in many ways and is a step backward in our efforts to end hunger. In addition to limiting choice and not accommodating for dietary needs or cultural preference, the boxes lack fresh fruits and vegetables, nutrient rich foods that can reduce illness and disease. By taking away benefits that are spent in grocery stores, farmers markets, and corner shops, boxes would hamper the economic stimulus effect that SNAP benefits have to strengthen every community.

We hold people experiencing hunger at the center of all we do and oppose this mean-spirited proposal that demonizes SNAP participants.

Oregon Food Bank will continue working with advocates and partners in the state and around the country to protect SNAP from cuts and harmful structural changes.