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Appropriations Veto Threats May Lead to Further Hardship for Hungry Americans
Date:12/4/2007

Passage of Farm Bill, Adequate Funding For WIC Essential for Emergency

Feeding Organizations

CHICAGO, Dec. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As Congress works to reach a compromise on domestic spending legislation, there are growing concerns that nearly 500,000 low-income mothers and children could be cut from the popular and cost effective Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). Meanwhile, the Farm Bill is stalled in the Senate, and food banks nationwide report rapidly dwindling inventories stemming from a more than 70 percent decline in support from a federal food aid program in recent years.

"We are on the brink of a crisis for food banks and hungry Americans," said Vicki Escarra, president and chief executive officer of America's Second Harvest-The Nation's Food Bank Network. "Cutting people receiving benefits from WIC means that hundreds of thousands of mothers and children likely will need to turn to our Network for help, and our food banks are already struggling to meet demands for food assistance due to scarce food supplies." The prospect for large WIC cuts was identified in a report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities last week.

In addition to WIC, several federal nutrition programs that are critical to food banks and the 25 million people served through the America's Second Harvest Network each year also are included in the Omnibus Appropriations bill Congress is currently considering. These programs include The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) storage and distribution, the Commodity Supplemental Food Program and the expansion of the Simplified Summer Food Program. WIC is the largest of the programs, and it is becoming a focal point for concern about cuts as Congress attempts to reach funding compromises with the White House.

Research has consistently shown that WIC is extremely effective in contributing to healthier birth outcomes and improving the diets
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SOURCE America's Second Harvest
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