Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise. - Luke 3:11 (NRSV)
Last week I posted a general overview of the president's 2007 fiscal budget proposal. As noted, the president wants to cut programs substantially for those Jesus would have termed "the least of these."
Over the course of the next few weeks I'll be noting more specifically what the president's cuts will look like.
For example, the president proposes to cut food assistance for 420,000 low-income seniors. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports:
President Bush's fiscal year 2007 budget would eliminate funding for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), terminating food assistance to 420,000 low-income seniors in an average month.
CSFP provides monthly nutritious food packages primarily to low-income seniors aged 60 and older in parts of 32 states, the District of Columbia, and two Indian reservations. The typical food package, which is designed to supplement low-income seniors' diets with nutrient-rich foods, costs the government less than $20 per participant a month and includes items such as canned tuna fish, peanut butter, cheese, cereal, and canned fruits and vegetables. More than a third of seniors who receive CSFP food packages, almost 150,000 people, are over age 75.
The President has proposed this cut despite U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) research that found that in 2004, one in five low-income households with elderly members were "food insecure," meaning they had difficulty affording food.