For Immediate Release: June 13, 2017
Ron Deutsch (FPI) 518-469-6769
Sherry Tomasky (Hunger Solutions) 518-414-2570
Trump Budget Would Shift Huge SNAP Costs to New York and
Put New Yorkers at Risk of Going Hungry
Albany, NEW YORK – President Trump’s budget proposal would shift a significant share of the cost of the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program’s (SNAP, previously known as Food Stamps) benefits to states and, for the first time, allow states to cut SNAP benefits, seriously threatening SNAP’s extraordinary long-term success in reducing severe hunger and malnutrition, according to a new report from the Washington, DC-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
“This proposal threatens to dramatically increase the number of New Yorkers at risk of going hungry,” said Ron Deutsch, executive director of the Fiscal Policy Institute. “This type of seismic cost shift would be unconscionable. New York’s congressional delegation must reject any proposal that puts New Yorkers, including children, seniors, and people with disabilities, at risk of going hungry.”
“The President’s proposal threatens the nutrition safety net for the nearly 3 million people who rely on SNAP in New York. SNAP is a lifeline for children, seniors, veterans, and adults struggling with low wages, temporary joblessness and involuntary part-time work, and all will suffer if this proposal is realized,” said Linda Bopp, Executive Director of Hunger Solutions New York. “SNAP is one of government’s most effective programs and serves as the first line of defense against hunger. It lifts and keeps New York families out of poverty, improves nutrition and health, and boosts the economy. It is one of the nation’s very best investments. The damage that these proposed cuts would inflict — combined with additional threats to programs that lower income families rely on – will create untold suffering for New Yorkers. These cuts must be rejected by Congress.”
Historically, SNAP benefits have been financed with federal funds to ensure that regional disparities in hunger, poverty and resources are properly addressed which has helped ensure that low-income households have access to adequate food despite where they might live.
The President’s budget would end this longstanding and successful approach by forcing states to cover 10 percent of SNAP benefit costs beginning in 2020, and increasing that share to 25 percent in 2023 and later years. The proposal would cut federal SNAP funding by $116 billion over a decade.
Once the provision was fully in effect, New York would face $1.2 billion in additional annual costs, and over the full ten years of the Trump budget, New York would face at least $8.5 billion in additional costs.
“New York would be unable to absorb such significant cost shifts without cutting SNAP benefits and taking other steps that could increase hunger and hardship,” said Susan Zimet, executive director of the Hunger Action Network of New York State. “And New Yorkers would face longer, deeper recessions, since SNAP plays a key role in sustaining demand at local food stores during economic downturns.”
New York State is already struggling to meet existing needs, let alone absorb new costs. New York has child poverty levels reaching over fifty percent in some upstate cities and over 80,000 people experiencing homelessness throughout the State. On top of those issues, the state is forecasting that revenues will be far short of projections for the coming fiscal year. More than 2.9 million New Yorkers received SNAP benefits in March 2017, down slightly from a year ago.
And, these added costs would come on top hundreds of billions of dollars in additional costs shifts to states in the President’s budget. In total, the President’s budget would shift about $453 billion annually to states and localities once the cuts were fully implemented in 2027.