UPDATE FROM CAPITOL HILL
President Trump released his federal budget on January 12, with dire implications for Colorado communities, families and individuals, and our economic health. The budget guts one of our state’s and nation’s most successful programs in supporting families and individuals who are weathering a life storm—food stamps, federally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). It puts politics over people and would make life harder for many Coloradans across the state.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
The budget proposes slashing food stamps by 30 percent. It also includes a radical restructuring of the program that would reduce benefits for the overwhelming majority of households as well as harm grocers and other retailers that provide access to food, jobs and economic activity in their communities. Other proposed changes would result in more than 4 million Americans losing benefits all together.
This government overreach takes money and control away from Colorado and proposes replacing a portion of residents’ benefits with non-perishable food boxes. Not only does this require the creation of unnecessary infrastructure—a cost that could fall to Colorado—but it works on the faulty assumption that the government should be deciding what we feed our kids.
Food stamps support families in building and maintaining a strong foundation for health and well-being. If such a proposal were enacted, the modest average food stamp benefit of $1.40 per meal would be further diminished. It would significantly impact the majority of those who are eligible for food stamps—children, seniors, veterans and people with disabilities. Yet, an increasing body of research demonstrates why food assistance is a smart investment that yields positive returns in the form of food and nutrition access, economic stability, health and well-being, employment, education, and productivity, which benefits all of us.
Food stamps only make up a tiny portion—about 2%—of the annual federal budget. Cuts would not provide noticeable savings to taxpayers and, instead, negatively impact the health and well-being of Colorado residents and communities, as well as our state and nation’s economic health. Furthermore, our statewide poll of Colorado voters, which is conducted every three years, continues to uncover the same clear insight: Hunger is a nonpartisan issue with widespread support. A majority of voters oppose federal cuts to programs that address hunger and believe more should be done by the government.
With deep cuts to food assistance, Medicaid, Medicare, affordable housing and community programs, the Trump Administration’s budget proposal endangers the well-being of our residents and economy. Moving forward with such a proposal would lead to an increase of hunger and poverty, with the ripple effects being felt by all communities in Colorado.
TAKE ACTION TODAY!
Please urge your Members of Congress to oppose on significant cuts or changes to food stamps. Then, amplify your voice on social media.
Connect with your Members of Congress on Facebook, Twitter and other networks:
- Sen. Michael Bennet – facebook.com/senatorbennet, @SenBennetCO, Tumblr
- Sen. Cory Gardner – facebook.com/Cory.Gardner.For.Senate, @SenCoryGardner (Twitter and Instagram)
- Rep. Ken Buck – facebook.com/buckforcolorado, @RepKenBuck
- Rep. Mike Coffman – facebook.com/repmikecoffman, @RepMikeCoffman
- Rep. Diana DeGette – facebook.com/DianaDeGette, @RepDianaDeGette
- Rep. Doug Lamborn – facebook.com/CongressmanDougLamborn, @RepDLamborn
- Rep. Ed Perlmutter – facebook.com/RepPerlmutter, @RepPerlmutter
- Rep. Jared Polis – facebook.com/jaredpolis, @RepJaredPolis, Google+
- Rep. Scott Tipton – facebook.com/CongressmanScottTipton, @RepTipton
Hashtags to use:
Sample tweets/social media posts: (please only use these as a guide and personalize your message!)
- The President’s recently-released budget proposes deep cuts to food stamps and other programs that support Coloradans who are weathering life storms, in addition to harmful structural changes that would harm retailers, farmers, and our economy. Instead of increasing hunger and poverty, we should be protecting such community resources that boost the health and well-being of our residents, state, and nation.
- The President’s budget puts politics over people, with deep cuts to programs that boost #COhealth & well-being. We need to #ProtectSNAP, so everyone can thrive. #EndHungerCO
- Healthy food helps #COkids learn, grow, and succeed. Trump’s budget proposal guts food stamps and would hurt Colorado families. #EndHungerCO #SNAPworks
- Kicking people off food assistance doesn’t make it easier to find a job, it just makes people hungry. Help us #protectSNAP, #StoptheCuts, and #endhungerCO!
- We all win when our communities are healthy and prosperous. #SNAPworks and that’s why we need to #protectSNAP in the federal budget and #endhungerCO.