Thirty groups calling themselves the Iowa Human Needs Advocates are asking Iowa Congressman Jim Nussle to resist the budget cuts President Bush proposed in federal food and social service programs. Nussle is chairman of the U.S. House Budget Committee, and Charlie Wishman of the Food Bank of Iowa says the president’s proposed cuts would mean four-thousand low-income seniors in Iowa would lose the federal coupons they get to buy fresh produce in grocery stores and at farmers’ markets.
“We’re looking for Congressman Nussle in the upcoming budget process not to cut the budget on the backs of low income people,” Wishman says. He contends federal food and nutrition programs take the “brunt” of the cuts President Bush is proposing. Wishman says he and the rest of the “Human Needs Advocates” are asking Nussle to “stand up” for Iowans and resist making those cuts.
Wishman says in any given week this year in the United States, about four million people seek emergency food assistance from a community kitchen, food pantry or homeless shelter. If the cuts go through, Wishman says his agency and others which serve America’s needy will have to shoulder a bigger burden.
The Iowa Community Action Association says President Bush’s cuts are endorsed by Nussle and the rest of congress, 91 Iowa cities and towns will lose the community action outreach offices that deliver programs to low income Iowans. A spokesperson for Congressman Nussle was not immediately available for comment.