As Poverty Rises in the District of Columbia, Some Federal Nutrition Programs Are Improving to Meet the Need While Others Are Falling Behind
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
MARCH 15, 2006, 10:30 AM EST
CONTACT: Kimberly Perry
PHONE: 202-986-2200 x3023
(Washington, D.C.) – March 15, 2006 – Federal nutrition programs are increasingly reaching low-income children, youth and adults and responding effectively to changes in need caused by economic downturns and rising poverty rates in the District of Columbia. But, District government must continue to maximize these programs to further their reach and particularly focus some new efforts on reaching children under age 5 and the elderly.
The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) today released its annual report, “State of the States: A Profile of Food and Nutrition Programs Across the Nation.” It outlines how well each state and the District of Columbia utilize federal nutrition programs to meet the demands of hungry and food insecure children and families.
The report profile for the District of Columbia shows increases in participation of low-income children in school and summer nutrition programs and the food stamp program. “But, the other programs aren’t reaching the most vulnerable – the very young and the older adults of our city,” said Kimberly Perry, Director of D.C. Hunger Solutions, a project of the Food Research and Action Center. “I hope this report is a wake-up call to city government to take the successes and lessons learned in programs like school breakfast and the summer food program and transfer them to the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and Women, Infants and Children (WIC) for children under age 5; and nutrition programs for the elderly, such as home delivered meals and the Community Supplemental Food Program (CSFP).”
“Food stamps, school meals, and other federal nutrition programs are proven responders - they provide nutritious food to those in need, whether the need is driven by a weak and changing economy or by a disaster,” said FRAC President Jim Weill. “Nonetheless, the programs could be reaching many more vulnerable people and providing them more adequate benefits. President Bush’s budget proposals to terminate food stamps for 300,000 people in low-income working families, take away commodities from 420,000 elderly people, and undermine the WIC program for mothers, infants and children are the wrong choices for our nation. Instead, we should be building on the success of our nation’s programs so that no one goes hungry in America.”
D.C. Hunger Solutions called on all District residents – from individuals and family members to businesses and decision makers – to work to end hunger in the District. “We can have an impact on the food security needs of all low-income people in the nation’s capital if we work together to make it happen,” said Perry.
Updated with the latest data derived from official government sources, FRAC’s State of the States provides a comprehensive state-by-state snapshot of the extent of hunger, and states’ use of federal nutrition resources to address needs. The federal nutrition programs covered are: Food Stamps, School Lunch, School Breakfast, Summer Food, the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), WIC The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), and the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP). The report also details economic and social indicators such as food insecurity, poverty, unemployment, and minimum wage levels.
D.C. Hunger Solutions, a project of the Food Research and Action Center, is dedicated to fighting hunger and obesity and improving the nutrition, health and well-being of children, youth and families in the District of Columbia.
The Food Research and Action Center (www.frac.org) is the leading national organization working for more effective public and private policies to eradicate domestic hunger and undernutriiton.