Policies that make healthy food affordable and improve access to safe places for walking and playing are keys to creating healthy and prosperous communities. These simple truths are ignored by the White House’s proposed budget, which was unveiled today.
Major cuts to the departments of Agriculture, Education, Health and Transportation are grounds for serious concern when it comes to healthy eating and active living. Other departments were similarly (and even more severely) cut. Read More from The Wall Street Journal
1. Cuts Department of Agriculture by 21%. Not all cuts have yet been specified, but those that have include:
- Cuts WIC by more than $200 miillion dollars.
- Eliminates the $500 million Water and Waste Water loan and grant program, which helps small towns with infrastructure.
- Other likely targets for yet unspecified cuts include the Ag Research Service, food safety programs, conservation funding and the National Forest System.
2. Cuts billions from community development programs and calls on state and local governments to make up the difference. For example:
- Eliminates the Community Development Block Grant program, robbing cities of $3 billion funding of crucial programming for those who are struggling, such as meals on wheels, community gardening and homelessness prevention. This year Kansas City, Missouri received $9 million and the United Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City Kansas received $850,000 through the program.
Eliminates grants for Community Development Financial Institutions, such as LISC and IFF, which provide financial services in economically distressed neighborhoods.
3. Cuts the Department of Transportation by 13%, pushing responsibility for many transit and other projects to local governments.
- Cuts $499 million from the competitive TIGER grant program which funds road, transit and other projects that are difficult to fund through other federal programs.
4. Cuts the Department of Education budget by $9.2 billion (13.5%).
- Cuts include $1.2 billion from after school and summer enrichment programs, through which many students receive meals and snacks.
5. Cuts the Department of Health by 18%, including;
- Eliminates the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program that is part of a safety net impacting food security.