What's going on with the budget?

Let's start with some good news for the state of Illinois: the College Students Hunger Bill (HB 3211) passed the IL house and senate.  In short, this bill requires the Illinois Student 

Assistance Commission (ISAC) to identify and flag all college students who are potentially eligible to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.  It will help provide SNAP benefits to 40,000 college students in IL. 

The best part about this passing? The vote! 50 yes - 1 no - 1 abstain. 

During Illinois Anit-Hunger Coalition Lobby Day in May, 4 staff and board members went down to Springfield to lobby legislators to support 

this bill. 

Federal Budget

What's going on with the federal budget? 2018 budget proposal from the white house shows massive cuts to federal anti-hunger and poverty programs, shifting those funds to military spending.  The result? A promise of a decade of cuts to vital social net programs.  

As part of this, $193 billion (about 25%) will be cut from SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, "food stamps") and responsibility to pay will be shifted to the state of IL. Currently, IL spends $0 on anti-hunger programs, and the state budget woes do not make funding for this program likely. For IL, this cost would be $760 million. 

Current eligibility for SNAP: (currently contested) 130% of the poverty line - $26,000/year for a family of three. 

22.3 million low-income households receive SNAP benefits, for a total of 450 million people benefiting.  Of that, 20 million are children, 5 million are seniors, and 20 million are non-senior adults.  42 million of those are natural born citizens, 1.8 naturalized citizens, and 1.9 million refugees and non-citizen children. 

Other notable cuts include cuts to poverty assistance -- job training, housing, AmeriCorps, TEFAP (emergency food), Medicaid (massive cuts), hospital outreach, and social security disability. 

With these cuts there are real implications for OPRF Food Pantry and other anti-hunger organizations in IL and across the country.