Today Congress returns to work after their spring recess. The top priority for the House and the Senate? The federal budget.

Every year, the President of the United States submits a budget proposal to US Congress that recommends funding levels for the next year. Congress is required by law to pass the budget bill in both the House and Senate and then send it to the president for his/her signature.

This year Congress has introduced significant changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that will cut eligibility and benefits for the program by $125 billion. SNAP offers a hunger safety net for millions of low-income families across the country through school meals, afterschool and child care food, senior meals and WIC. In Monroe County alone, 12 percent of our population receives SNAP benefits.[1] That’s over 90,000 people in our community who rely on federal funding to help feed their family.

Hunger and obesity can coexist in the same family. When healthy food is too expensive or inaccessible, households with limited resources purchase high calorie foods that are filling to stretch their food budget for their family. These foods typically have poor nutritional quality and have been linked to obesity.[2]

Read how Congress can end hunger in the following op-ed by Bob Aiken the chief executive officer of Feeding America and Jim Weill, the president of Food Research and Action Center entitled “How this Congress Can End Hunger Now.”

[1] Food Research and Action  Center (2009). County-by-county review of SNAP/Food stamp participation. Food Action Research Center Online.

[2] Coleman-Jenson, A., Nord, M., Singh, A. (2013). Statistical supplement to household food security in the United States in 2012. United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service.