Monday, February 13, 2012

President Obama's Budget Outlines Continued Commitment to Hunger

WASHINGTON, Feb. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --Bread for the World is pleased that President Obama's fiscal year 2013 budget proposal presents a fairly balanced approach to deficit reduction. The budget also protects important programs for hungry and poor people, creates jobs, and promotes economic mobility.

"This is a strong indication of the president's priorities as Congress begins consideration of the budget resolution," said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. "Now, more than ever, we must ensure funding for those programs proven to alleviate hunger and help poor people move out of poverty. We praise the president's commitment to programs that help vulnerable people gain access to vital resources to help make ends meet."

The White House's proposed budget makes permanent the current Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit benefit levels, which are set to expire at the end of 2012. The budget also restores the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) benefit cuts, funds the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) at $7 billion, and includes $2.5 million for Hunger Free Communities.

"At a time when so many families in America are facing unemployment or reduced work hours, these tax credits and nutrition programs are more important than ever," said Beckmann.

The president has demonstrated his commitment to reducing hunger and poverty overseas by proposing sustained funding for critical programs that have proven to be successful. In particular, the president's budget included continued funding to help small farmers in developing countries improve and expand local agriculture; address preventable maternal and child malnutrition, especially in the 1,000-day window between pregnancy and age 2, which has measurable impact on the productivity of developing countries; and continuing funding for important operating expenses that ensure U.S. foreign assistance is used effectively.

"We must address our deficits, but we cannot sacrifice our commitment to hunger and poverty," said Beckmann. "This is not a partisan issue; it is a moral one. In the upcoming budget decisions, Congress must form a circle of protection around programs for hungry and poor people."



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