MEDIA RELEASE: Trump budget would shift huge SNAP costs to North Carolina, put North Carolinians at risk of going hungry

Raleigh, NC (June 13, 2017) –  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 North Carolinians at risk of going hungry,” said Brian Kennedy II, Public Policy Fellow with the Budget & Tax Center. “In a nation of this much wealth, that would be unconscionable. North Carolina’s congressional delegation must reject any proposal that puts North Carolinians, 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, North Carolina would face approximately $562 million in additional annual costs, and over the full ten years of the Trump budget, North Carolina would face approximately $3.917 billion in additional costs.

North Carolina would be unable to absorb such significant cost shifts without cutting SNAP benefits and taking other steps that could increase hunger and hardship,” said Alexandra Sirota, Director of the Budget & Tax Center. “And North Carolinians would face longer, deeper recessions, since SNAP plays a key role in sustaining demand at local food stores during economic downturns.”

North Carolina is already struggling to meet existing needs, let alone absorb new costs. After years of tax cuts that primarily benefit the state’s wealthiest taxpayers and profitable corporations, North Carolina has a tax code that is collecting $2.8 billion less annually than the tax code would have under the pre-2013 structure, among other changes.

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.

Read the full CBPP report here.

For more information, contact Brian Kennedy II, Public Policy Fellow with the Budget & Tax Center, at (919) 856-2153 or briank@ncjustice.org;  or Mel Umbarger, Senior Communications Specialist with the Budget & Tax Center, at mel@ncjustice.org

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