News & Events

President’s Budget Proposes Great Harm

Deep cuts for low-income Alaskans

ANCHORAGE, February 13th 2018 - The president’s FY 2019 budget includes major cuts and harmful changes to the most important nutrition programs for thousands of Alaskans who live in households that have been left behind in the nation’s ongoing economic recovery.

The budget proposes deep cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps), and would slash a stunning $213 billion over the next ten years.These cuts - which would reduce SNAP by an unprecedented 30 percent – and structural changes will dismantle a proven and effective program that provides a path out of hunger and poverty, and leads to improved diet, learning, productivity, and health.

Cuts to SNAP wold be detrimental for nearly 100,000 Alaskans who rely on the program – including children, seniors, working families, veterans, individuals experiencing disabilities and more. SNAP is a proven and effective program that is vital to ensuring that struggling Alaskans get the nutrition they need for their health and well-being. SNAP is a critical resource for families and individuals struggling financially and at risk of going hungry - whether it’s due to losing their job, experiencing a healthcare emergency, or managing a long-term disability.

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The proposed Harvest Box program radically restructures how SNAP benefits are provided, and shifts the ability to purchase food from individual households to the government. This proposed program would drastically reduce the ability of SNAP recipients in Alaska to have access to fresh and nutritious produce while hurting local retailers. What’s more, it doesn’t consider culturally relevant or health based dietary needs. The current structure of SNAP is cost effective and efficient, and gives SNAP participants the dignity of choice. Altering the structure of how SNAP is received adds further costs to the program while reducing the net nutrition received by participants.

The budget inexplicably eliminates the Commodity Supplemental Food Program which provides food boxes to seniors. In Alaska over 2,000 low-income seniors depend on these monthly food boxes to meet their nutritional needs. The budget also proposes harmful funding reductions to Medicaid, low-income housing assistance, afterschool programming, child-care assistance and other critical programs upon which millions of food-insecure individuals rely.

Food Bank of Alaska and the Alaska Food Coalition will be working with organizations and advocates around the state to urge Congress to prevent these cuts. These proven and effective programs, particularly SNAP, which is our nation’s first line of defense against hunger, must be protected by lawmakers. Kicking low-income Americans off these essential programs will only increase the presence of poverty and hunger in our communities. Congress must also demand greater investments in comprehensive solutions that provide low-income Americans with opportunities for a better future.

Tell Members of Congress that SNAP works in Alaska.
Food Bank of Alaska is a statewide nonprofit working to end hunger in Alaska through food distribution and advocacy. To learn more, visit
The Alaska Food Coalition is a statewide anti-hunger coalition working on systemic changes to increase food access for all Alaskans. To learn more, visit

Photograph: Damerr and Decklan's family receives $90 per month in SNAP benefits while their mother attends Anchorage Community College full-time. "Without it my kids would be eating PB and J sandwiches every meal," their grandmother told us.