American Public Health Association
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For Immediate Release
For more information, please contact APHA Communications at (202) 777-2509 or email us.

APHA regrets painful cuts to nutrition programs in proposed farm bill

Statement from Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), executive director of APHA

Washington, D.C., July 12, 2012 – “The U.S. House Agriculture Committee proposed unacceptable cuts to vital hunger and nutrition assistance programs included in its version of legislation to reauthorize the farm bill today. The legislation includes more than $16 billion in funding cuts over the next 10 years to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a critical safety net, which would add further hardship to millions of low-income Americans already struggling to put food on the table.

“The bill that passed out of committee today could deny 2 million to 3 million access to the program and several hundred thousand low-income children access to no-cost school meals. Shortchanging these essential federal nutrition programs, at a time when more than 46 million low-income Americans rely on food assistance every day, is exactly the wrong thing to do. APHA is disappointed with these proposed cuts that will harm far too many Americans.

“SNAP has a proven history of improving nutrition and fighting obesity and lifting families out of poverty. Sadly, these proposed cuts jeopardize that progress. We understand the challenge our lawmakers face in tough economic times, but reductions to government spending should not come at the expense of our nation’s most vulnerable individuals and families.

“APHA calls on Congress to restore these proposed cuts and to restore our commitment to alleviate food insecurity, improve nutrition and reduce obesity for all Americans.”

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Founded in 1872, the APHA is the oldest and most diverse organization of public health professionals in the world. The association aims to protect all Americans and their communities from preventable, serious health threats and strives to assure community-based health promotion and disease prevention activities and preventive health services are universally accessible in the United States. APHA represents a broad array of health providers, educators, environmentalists, policy-makers and health officials at all levels working both within and outside governmental organizations and educational institutions. More information is available at www.apha.org.