DeLauro Calls Out Trump Administration’s Undermining of Federal Nutrition Programs
WASHINGTON, DC (April 4, 2018) — Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) today sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service Administrator Brandon Lipps expressing concern regarding the agency’s increased focus on undermining federal nutrition programs and stigmatizing recipients under the guise of “program integrity.”
“Federal nutrition programs administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) serve as an anti-hunger lifeline for millions of our country’s most vulnerable.” wrote DeLauro. “According to the most recent data compiled by the Congressional Research Service (CRS), the School Breakfast Program and the National School Lunch Program each serve an average of 14.7 million and 30.0 million children, respectively, each day of school. Another program, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, provides nutrient-rich foods, on average, to 7.3 million mothers and their children per month. Last year, our nation’s largest nutrition safety net, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, prevented 42.2 million people from going hungry, including nearly 20 million children, 4.8 million low-income seniors, and 1.5 million low-income military veterans.”
“Despite their broad reach, it is widely recognized that federal nutrition programs have the lowest instances of fraud compared to all government programs,” continued DeLauro. “Specifically with respect to the food stamp program, CRS has found that ‘SNAP fraud is rare, according to all available data and reports.’ With this in mind, last week’s announcement that USDA will expand its focus on ‘program integrity’ across all nutrition programs is unfortunate.”
A copy of the full letter can be found here.