Blog Posts > Trump Budget Shifts Millions in SNAP Costs and Puts Thousands of West Virginians at Risk of Going Hungry
June 13, 2017

Trump Budget Shifts Millions in SNAP Costs and Puts Thousands of West Virginians at Risk of Going Hungry

For Immediate Release  Contact: Caitlin Cook, 304.720.8682

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 Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. PDF news release.

“This proposal threatens to dramatically increase the number of West Virginians at risk of going hungry,” said Kay Albright, Manna Meal Administrative Manager. “In a nation of this much wealth, that would be unconscionable. West Virginia’s congressional delegation must reject any proposal that puts West Virginians, including children, seniors, and people with disabilities, at risk of not getting enough to eat.”

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, West Virginia would face up to $125 million in additional annual costs, and over the full ten years of the Trump budget, the Mountain State would face approximately $869 million in additional costs.

West Virginia would be unable to absorb such significant cost shifts without cutting SNAP benefits and taking other steps that could increase hunger and hardship,” said Ted Boettner, West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy Executive Director. “And West would face longer, deeper recessions, since SNAP plays a key role in sustaining demand at local food stores during economic downturns.”

West Virginia is already struggling to meet existing needs, let alone absorb new costs. West Virginia is in the midst of a $500 million budget deficit, and that follows $600 million in cuts to the state budget in recent years.

And, these added costs would come on top hundreds of billions of dollars in additional costs shifts to states both 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.

At the same time, the President is proposing massive tax cuts largely for the wealthy and corporations that would likely cost several trillion dollars over the coming decade.


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