The Hagstrom Report

Agriculture News As It Happens


White House anti-hunger summit gathers opponents to nutrition program cuts

In a move that could further complicate prospects for the 2012 farm bill, the White House held an anti-hunger summit on Tuesday that appeared intended to organize a coalition to prevent budget cuts to the federal nutrition safety net, Obama Foodrama reported.

The event, which was closed to the press, was titled “Creating Pathways to Opportunity — Fighting Food Insecurity in America,” and organized by the White House Office of Public Engagement in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

Ninety-six activists and advocates from media companies, food corporations, major foundations, faith-based organizations, school associations, anti-hunger groups, policy lobbying organizations, and medical and child health organizations were invited, Obama Foodorama reported.

The Obama administration has taken the position that there should be no cuts to the food stamp or supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP), but the Senate-passed bill cuts the program by $4.35 billion over 10 years, while the House Agriculture Committee-passed bill cuts it by $16 billion.

More than 46 million Americans now get food stamps, and the program costs about $80 billion per year.