For more than 50 years, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has helped millions of Americans to avoid hunger, improve their health and alleviate the consequences of poverty. Two other federal programs Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and School Food have for decades provided similar protections for pregnant women, new mothers and their young children and school children, respectively. From its earliest days, the United States has debated immigration policy, at times restricting access for some and at other times welcoming groups from many nations. Today, President Trump and Congress are acting to reverse two American traditions, providing food support for the hungry and welcoming those from other nations. New York City and State have both the obligation and the opportunity to chart new paths in creating city, state and community programs that reaffirm these core American values.
By Nevin Cohen, Nicholas Freudenberg and Janet Poppendieck, CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute
Trump’s inauguration, coupled with Republican Congressional control, requires every constituency to analyze the threats to the gains of the last eight years. This is particularly urgent for New Yorkers seeking to advance three broad food goals: eliminating food insecurity and hunger, fighting malnutrition and health inequality, and ensuring a sustainable food system with good jobs. Anticipating efforts to undermine food justice enables advocates, researchers, and policy makers to choose priorities in our work and forge strategic partnerships. In this policy brief, Nevin Cohen, Nicholas Freudenberg and Janet Poppendieck from the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute analyze likely changes in these three areas and propose strategies to promote food justice in the coming years
By Anabel Perez-Jimenez and Nicholas Freudenberg, CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute
In the United States, a century of social reforms has yielded several national programs that help people avoid hunger and food insecurity. In 2015, the Supplemental Assistance Program (SNAP) provided benefits to more than 44 million low-income U.S. residents at a cost of about $70 billion; the Women, Infants and Children program (WIC) offered healthy food to about 6 million women and their young children at a cost of $6.2 billion; and USDA’s School Food served lunches to about 30.5 million school children and breakfasts to about 14 million at a total cost of about $17 billion. These food safety net programs, however imperfect in their scope or implementation, mitigate the effects of poverty and food insecurity, improve health and help the United States join the club of civilized nations that aspire to make access to the food needed for well-being the norm rather than a privilege.