How POTUS FY19 Budget Proposal Harms – Maryland Food Bank
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How the President’s Budget Proposal Would Harm Hungry Marylanders

February 14, 2018

Can food-insecure Maryland families survive without SNAP? What would Maryland’s seniors do without My Groceries to Go!?

This budget proposal-focused blog is the third in a series of posts exploring the effects of decreased funding and elimination of programs that make up the food assistance network. Read the first two installments, “We’re Here to Help,” and “New Threats to the Food Assistance Network.”

Stories of congressional budget discussions have dominated the news over the past few months, but it’s the release of the president’s FY19 budget proposal this week that is really making headlines.

While it’s too early to tell how Congress will respond to the proposal, one thing we do know is that the president is making it clear that eliminating and/or reducing funding for certain feeding programs is a priority to his administration.

What Programs are at Risk in the FY19 Budget Proposal?

The budget proposal specifically targets the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP).

Formerly known as Food Stamps, SNAP is the most impactful feeding program in the United States. It provides qualifying individuals and families with a monthly stipend to purchase approved foods at local businesses. The Maryland Food Bank’s SNAP Outreach Program sends employees into local communities to help eligible Marylanders sign up for SNAP benefits.

CSFP benefits, meanwhile, are administered by the food bank through a program called My Groceries to Go!, which provides low-income seniors in our state with a supply of shelf-stable foods on a monthly basis.

What Does SNAP Mean to Maryland?

The budget proposal seeks to cut SNAP funding nationally by nearly one-third ($213 billion over a ten-year period), resulting in the loss of 4 billion meals annually.

In Maryland, about three-quarters of a million people receive SNAP benefits on any given month, and should the proposal become law, those Marylanders would lose access to more than 100 million meals each year.

There is a lot of misinformation regarding the value, administration, and abuse of SNAP benefits out there, but here are the facts about SNAP in Maryland:

  • The average monthly benefit to an individual is $122.66 and $236.73 per household
  • SNAP infused more than $1.1 billion into Maryland’s economy in 2016, with an actual impact of more than $1.9 billion
  • 81 percent of SNAP participants are either alredy working or not expected to (seniors, children, and people with disabilities)

SNAP has incredible transformative power. It can be the difference between success and failure for Marylanders. People like Stephanie, a single mother and SNAP success story, who credits the program with getting her through a brief rough patch on the road to self-sufficiency.

What if My Groceries To Go! Was Gone?

The president’s budget proposal calls for the complete elimination of this critical USDA lifeline, which means that the 2,400 Maryland seniors who currently receive a monthly box of food containing canned proteins, fruits and vegetables, grains, and milk would be forced to seek nourishment elsewhere.

How Far Can the Safety Net Stretch?

If these two cornerstone nutritional assistance programs were to vanish — or have their funding significantly reduced — where would hungry Marylanders go?

Some believe that charitable organizations can easily fill the gap, but that thinking is as misguided as believing these programs aren’t helping people.

In Maryland, those shortcomings would have to be met by our organization, our partners, and various initiatives like Baltimore City’s DSS Emergency Food Distribution Program, parts of the safety net that can’t withstand further strain.

Stand Strong for Your Neighbors

As the economy continues to improve, the danger is losing sight of those who still need us — there are still more than 682,000 people in Maryland who don’t necessarily know where their next meal may come from.

For nearly 40 years, we’ve led the local fight to end hunger, but our efforts become much more challenging with reduced resources. Hungry Marylanders rely on us, and we rely on you. Help ensure that we are able to help our neighbors in need by making a gift now.

Help us continue our fight against hunger in Maryland

Say “no” to reducing and eliminating federal feeding programs

10 thoughts on “How the President’s Budget Proposal Would Harm Hungry Marylanders

  1. I have a disabled son and husband I work but my job along with my husband and sons disability is just enough to pay the rent . We don’t get food stamps because they make it seem like they are doing us a big favor it we were to get them. It is people like us that keeps these government workers employed. I use the food banks because there more giving, more filled with love and hope.

  2. I live in public housing and I see how many especially elderly depend on lunches that are provided from the Wheels on Meals program. Some I’ve spoke to said that the snap program already took a $1.00 from them, I believe that was around the time we received a 3% increase in our SS checks.

    1. I am currently in need of the snap program my significant other just passed away and I have autism n health issues such as epilepsy and mental illnesses . He worked and took care of all our needs . The president obviously lacks compassion for people who are walking in my shoes. I need the help until I can get in a special needs school and try to further myself and hardly any scholarships for people who have disabilities even exist especially for adults who have autism.

  3. I think there may be some confusion about how the President’s Budget “Request” works. This goes for any President’s Budget Request. It’s only a suggestion. As you can read here Congress takes the “Request” and makes it their own. Then they submit it back to the President to sign into law. S(he) can veto any of the various bills that make up a budget, but Congress would then have the ability to override the veto. I think most if not all Presidents ask for more than they are willing to accept in their Budget Requests, but Trump has honed his negotiating skills to a fault so he most assuredly has asked for more than he expects to receive. The bottom line is that we can all calm down for now. The proposal in question is for next year’s budget (2019) so Marylanders have a year to write their elected representatives. And if it comes down to a shortage for Maryland, then we can do things the old fashioned way (before Woodrow Wilson and FDR) and raise funds from within the state and/or rely on charitable donations and organizations like houses of worship.

  4. VOTE! It’s up to us to change the crippling of our communities and it’s only going to get worse. Register please. VOTE!

  5. Our church gives out food to over a hundred people in need each week! Without this program so many will go hungry! This is not the way to treat our people in need. Some must go without basic needs met or eat. Medicine or food! We cant let this happen. Without the MD Food Bank our church couldnt afford to help their community.

  6. People just don’t see the real picture if they haven’t walked down this road. Going to have something to not having anything. I have worked, but now I can’t, and I never asked or did anything to deserve this, so now when someone has helped me receive what I get, I’m not going to complain. The only thing I complain about all day and for the rest of my days is WHY ME!! That’s it. I love to work, had a job that I enjoyed everyday, and never complained about anything nor any one. My life is totally different now, but I will survive, I’m living proof of going from something to having what I have now, and it isn’t changing me. I still live my life the way I want too!! I will continue doing so even if this thing was to be taken away. The Government doesn’t own me, I do!!!

  7. How many in the White House have been short of food the last 7-10 days of the month? Try explaining to a child why they are going to bed hungry. Do they have a parent or disabled relative depending on SNAP etc? I kind of think most likely not. Walk a mile in their shoes thrump and see how it feels. Oh grandeous one born with a platinum spoon in his mouth. Get a heart, because it appears you don’t have one!

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