The Community Food Security Act of 1995, barring unforeseen developments,
will make it into the Welfare Reform legislative package coming out of the
House-Senate Conference committee, which in turn is being folded into the
Budget Reconciliation bill. Voting is expected on this bill 11/16 and 11/17.
This represents the final major hurdle for this piece of legislation. The
CFSA is one of the few bright points in an otherwise very dismal welfare
The massive cuts in federal food assistance programs encompassed in the
welfare reform bill will be enormously detrimental to the food security of
millions of low-income persons. While it now appears that all child nutrition
programs- such as WIC and School Lunch and Breakfast- will retain their
entitlement status, they will suffer $6 billion in cuts over the next 7
The plight of food stamps is much worse however. There will be an option for
states to choose a block grant program for food stamps. Cuts will total $37
billion over the next 7 years, with most inflation adjustments discarded. In
lay terms, average benefits per meal will be reduced from the current 78
cents to 62 cents.
Congress is expected to vote on the Budget Reconciliation package today and
tomorrow. After that, it will be passed to the President for his signature or
veto. If it is vetoed, Congress may try to override the veto, and/or begin
negotiations with the White House over a compromise bill. There is talk that
a separate welfare reform bill may be attempted if the budget reconciliation
bill is vetoed. We are hopeful that the CFSA will make it through this
arduous process unnoticed, and no further Congressional action is
recommended at this time on the part of the CFS Coalition.
Call the President today at 202-456-1111 (or e-mail at
firstname.lastname@example.org) to express your opposition to the Budget
Reconciliation bill. Ask him to veto any welfare reform bill that makes more
children poorer, sick, hungry, or at risk of neglect or abuse. Also ask him
that in future neogotiations with Congress, he act to restore food stamp cuts
and maintain the entitlement status of food stamps, as well as to assure
passage of the Community Food Security Act.
Andy Fisher * Community Food Security Coalition * PO Box 209 * Venice, CA
90294 * 310-822-5410