Alliance to End Hunger Statement on Passage of FY22 Appropriations Bill
March 11, 2022
WASHINGTON (March 11, 2022) The Alliance to End Hunger today welcomed the final passage of the Fiscal Year 2022 Omnibus funding bill as an important step toward funding vital food and nutrition programs, while also warning of serious gaps critical to addressing hunger and malnutrition at home and abroad.
In the U.S., the package extends the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) fruit and vegetable benefit increase, providing enhanced benefits to an estimated 6.2 million women, infants, and children. Further, $2.5 million is directed to the White House and federal agencies to convene a conference on Food, Nutrition, Health, and Hunger – a key priority of the Alliance. The Alliance also thanks Congress for adequately funding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer (Summer EBT) demonstration project.
Despite these nutrition investments, the Alliance to End Hunger is deeply discouraged by the lack of an extension of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) authority to issue child nutrition waivers through the 2022 – 2023 school year. The continuation of the waivers is crucial to ensuring children are fed during continuing COVID challenges such as supply chain disruptions and high food costs. Additionally, the bill fails to bolster The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), which works through food banks to bring healthy foods to low-income Americans. Lastly, while modest investments have been made in senior nutrition programs, the amount provided was lower than anticipated and will put a strain on community-based partners trying to meet the nutritional needs of older adults.
Globally, the food security and nutrition environment has been overshadowed by the recent conflict in Ukraine. The FY22 funding bill includes supplemental funding that addresses the crisis with critical food assistance through the International Disaster Assistance (IDA) account to meet the growing humanitarian emergency. However, the Alliance is deeply troubled that other accounts in the larger appropriations bill will not meet the growing humanitarian and food security needs around the world. While there were only modest increases to the Global Nutrition and McGovern Dole Food for Education program accounts, the U.S. Government’s major global food security mechanisms – Food for Peace Title II and Feed the Future – received no increases for FY22. Further, funds for IDA not directed to Ukraine witnessed a decrease from FY21, including a major $425 million blow through the removal of COVID supplemental funding.
“Simply put, hunger and malnutrition do not feel like they were priorities,” stated Eric Mitchell, Executive Director of the Alliance to End Hunger. “With the exception of Ukraine, this budget seems like ‘business as usual.’ But with rising food prices making it even more costly to feed those who are in need, we are not in a ‘business as usual’ world. We need to step up the pressure to ensure we are addressing the current needs everywhere.”