Communities Brace For Impacts of Trump’s Budget
May 25, 2017
While campaigning for President, Donald Trump ran on a promise of making this country a better place to live for working Americans. Instead of doing this, Trump’s budget would make life easier for millionaires and billionaires at the expense of everyone else. Communities around the country are preparing for the devastating impact of this budget, which will ultimately cause immense hardship to the very Americans who Trump promised to help:
Cuts to social services in President Donald Trump’s proposed budget has one Columbus food pantry concerned. “Our customers, our shoppers are concerned. They're worried about what that means to their ability to get the food that they want and need,” said Kathy Kelly-Long, director of Broad Street Food Pantry.
“I don't think anybody shops at a food pantry or anybody relies on SNAP by choice.”
President Donald Trump's $4.1 trillion budget for 2018 calls for sharp cuts in several programs, including food stamps, known as SNAP. And that means the nearly two million people who live in the Mid-South states could have a hard time putting food on the table.
More than 16% of households in Tennessee are below the poverty line. 17% of Tennesseans rely on food stamps, or SNAP, to feed their families. Under President Donald Trump's new budget, people who are able to work will no longer get assistance.
Auburn, Alabama: Oanow.com: Trump's food stamp cuts face hard sell in Congress
Lucy Melcher of the anti-hunger group Share Our Strength says some people aren't able to find work in their areas and have no access to job training. She says the cuts could be “devastating.”
The proposed cuts would “just exacerbate poverty for people who are already trying to work their way out of it,” Melcher said. “I don't think there's a person living in poverty today who wouldn't be affected by this budget.”
San Luis Obispo, CA: KSBY6: Local food banks brace for cuts to food stamp funding
Nationally, more than 44 million people benefit from food assistance programs. Locally, about 50,000 people in San Luis Obispo County and 140,000 in Santa Barbara County rely on that assistance. “I feel weird asking for help,” said Kaitlyn, who wished to remain anonymous. She's 20-years-old and pregnant and is applying for food stamps for the first time because doctors told her she can't work during her pregnancy.
“Because they are worried he's going to come out early, and he has some health issues, so I'm considered a high-risk pregnancy,” Kaitlyn said.
She now joins thousands of others in the area who rely on food assistance for their next meal.
In February, 44,536 of Hawaii’s 169,319 SNAP recipients resided on the Big Island. Nationally, about two-thirds of SNAP recipients in fiscal year 2015 were children, elderly or had disabilities.
“A straight up, across-the-board cut would definitely reduce the number of people on our rolls,” said En Young, executive director of the Food Basket, Hawaii Island’s food bank. “If that’s their goal, then that would be pretty successful. But part of the Trump rhetoric has been around getting people back to work — a lot of his economic projections rely on the fact that millions of people would be getting back into jobs. I think we’re all on board with people having the dignity of work, but the truth is, a lot of people on this island who receive SNAP are elderly seniors who are not going back to work.”
Chicago, Illinois: WBEZ News: How Would Trump’s Budget Affect Illinois?
Trump’s budget proposes a 25 percent cut in federal spending on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, the technical name for the food stamp program. That’s a bigger cut than food banks can fill, said Greater Chicago Food Depository spokesman Jim Conwell.
“For every meal that we are distributing as a non-profit food bank, SNAP is providing about nine meals in our community,” Conwell said. Based on those figures, the food bank would need to more than triple its output to fill in the gap left by Trump’s proposed cuts. “The emergency food network of non-profits was not meant to cover that much of an increase in need,” Conwell said.
Food stamp funding would be slashed by about 25 percent, with a new work requirement imposed on some recipients. Myra Young is a nurses' assistant who gets $100 in food stamps a month. Her son relies on Medicaid.
“I'm a working mom so it's not like I'm welfare recipient sitting home not doing nothing,” Young told CBS News.
“My tax money pays for my food stamps and you don't even give me enough to feed my children,” she added.
Caritas of Waco serves hundreds of people every week. A majority of the people they serve rely on some type of federal help, including the SNAP program. Arlesia Jones is one of those individuals. Jones received food stamps every month.
“That only takes me for like two weeks so after the first half of the month is gone, I come to Caritas,” Jones said. “Whatever they'll give me it'll take me to the other two weeks until I can come back to Caritas or when I get my food stamps.”
Jones is one of about 42 million people who receive food stamps. “Without the food stamps, I don't believe we'd make it as far as we have,” Ta-Honika Taylor, who received food stamps, said.
East Lansing, Michigan: Lansing State Journal: Trump is proposing $17M in cuts to FRIB
A proposed $17 million cut in federal funding for Michigan State University’s Facility for Rare Isotope Beams next year would push back the project’s completion and increase costs, according to the project's director.
“This project, which is currently on budget and ahead of schedule, would now be delayed and the total costs are estimated by the DOE to increase by $20 million,” Mark Burnham, MSU’s vice president for government affairs, said in a statement released Tuesday.
“Sadly, the impact on FRIB is just one example of how the cuts across the federal science agencies will affect America. These cuts will not make us great, they won’t even keep us in the running.”