WHEREAS, no person should have to go hungry; and

WHEREAS, 36.2 million (or 11.2% of) Americans lived in households unable to purchase adequate food, according to USDA data for 2003, the most recent period available; and

WHEREAS, over one-third of those in hungry and food insecure households (13.3 million in 2003) are children; and

WHEREAS, hunger has adverse consequences for all Americans, but particularly for children and mothers; and

WHEREAS, hunger impedes growth and development; and

WHEREAS, hunger is a significant predictor of adverse health conditions; and

WHEREAS, hunger is associated with behavior problems among preschoolers and school-age children; and

WHEREAS, emergency food providers are struggling to meet increased demands in cities, according to the survey conducted by The U.S. Conference of Mayors Task Force on Hunger and Homelessness; and

WHEREAS, the 2004 USCM survey found that 56 percent of those requesting food assistance were families, and 34 percent of the adults requesting food assistance were employed; and

WHEREAS, the 2004 USCM survey found that, on average, 20 percent of the requests for emergency food assistance in respondent cities had gone unmet; and

WHEREAS, Congress is considering cuts to the Food Stamp Program, which is the cornerstone of the nation's anti-hunger safety net; and

WHEREAS, food stamp benefits are provided in the form of an electronic benefit card that can be used in supermarket checkout lines only for the purchase of food; and

WHEREAS, half of all food stamp recipients are children; and

WHEREAS, 18 percent of food stamp households contain an elderly person and 23 percent contain a disabled person; and

WHEREAS, over 95 percent of food stamp benefits go to households with incomes below the poverty level; and

WHEREAS, food stamps make it possible for many working poor families to stretch their income so that it approaches the poverty level; and

WHEREAS, food stamp benefits boost local economies, with each dollar in federal food stamp benefits generating nearly double that in community economic activity; and

WHEREAS, the Food Stamp Program helps many individuals and communities hit by natural and man-made disasters; and

WHEREAS, the Food Stamp Program is structured to respond to changes in need in all parts of the nation; and

WHEREAS, changes to the Food Stamp Program that reduce eligibility or benefits cannot be adequately replaced by food banks and other private charities, or by local communities suffering the loss of local jobs,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The U.S. Conference of Mayors calls on the Administration and Congress to protect the Food Stamp Program against budget cuts or weakening structural changes.

2005 The U.S. Conference of Mayors
Tom Cochran, Executive Director
1620 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Tel. 202.293.7330 ~ Fax 202.293.2352