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AAP Press Statement Opposing U.S. House of Representatives Farm Bill

6/19/2013 By: James Perrin, MD, FAAP, president-elect, American Academy of Pediatrics
“The American Academy of Pediatrics denounces the Farm Bill (H.R. 1947) currently being debated in the U.S. House of Representatives because it fails to meet children’s most basic health and nutritional needs, including access to food.
 
“The child poverty rate in the United States is the highest it’s been in twenty years. Pediatricians understand firsthand that hungry children are less likely to be healthy, suffer developmental delays and have behavioral problems that hurt their academic performance.
 
““The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) is a program designed to help lift children out of poverty, serving 22 million U.S. households, 72% of which are families with children. Yet, H.R. 1947 would cut $20.5 billion from SNAP. Such cuts ignore the crucial role SNAP plays in helping put food on the table for millions of vulnerable families, including one in three U.S. children. The program also educates low-income families about how to make healthy choices and provides young children with access to fruits and vegetables in school. 
 
“With one in four U.S. children living in poverty, now is the time to invest in programs like SNAP. Children deserve strong policies that protect them against hunger, improve their nutrition and help their families afford access to healthy food. H.R. 1947 fails to meet these needs on every front, which is why the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly opposes the measure. As the Farm Bill advances in the House and as spending decisions loom before our nation’s leaders, America’s pediatricians call on Congress to put children first.”
 
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The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. (www.aap.org)