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Resolutions & Amendments

26th International Convention - San Francisco, CA (1984)

Hunger in America: Food Stamp Program

Resolution No. 87
26th International Convention
June 18-22, 1984
San Francisco, CA


The prevalence of hunger in America is neither anecdotal nor imaginary. It is real and pervasive. Repeated studies by respected organizations have dramatically corroborated that as many as 21 million of the 35 million Americans living in poverty today are suffering from hunger and malnutrition; and


During the past three years, the rich have gotten richer and fatter and the poor have gotten poorer and hungrier as a result of disastrous tax, economic, and budgetary policies which have produced an unprecedented Federal budget deficit and alarming levels of unemployment, inflation, and human misery; and


The Federal government must act immediately to address and alleviate the problem of hunger and to deal decisively with every flame that has ignited this fire; and


Since the Food Stamp program was established by the Congress in 1964, hundreds of AFSCME members who work in it at the state, county, and local level have viewed this program as a major shield against hunger for nearly 23 million Americans, three fourths of whom are elderly, disabled, children, or single parents of small children; and


There is every reason to believe that the spread of hunger was accelerated and fed by the devastating cuts in the Food Stamp program which have been spearheaded by the Reagan Administration. In 1981, $2 billion was cut; in 1982, another $548 million was chopped off. These reductions were achieved by making program eligibility requirements stricter and by reducing benefits. Two million persons were cut off; millions of others had their benefits reduced; and


In order to ameliorate hunger, it is imperative that restorations be made in Food Stamp program funding levels. These restorations are essential to the rolling back of the program changes which have had such a calamitous impact on eligibility and benefits.


That AFSCME maintain an aggressive posture in pressing the Congress to deal with one of the major causes of hunger by enacting legislation such as the Hunger Relief Act of 1984 (H.R. 5151) which will undo some of the damage that has been done to the Food Stamp, and other nutritional, programs.


Charles Ensley, Delegate, Local 371
At Bilik, Delegate, Local 1502
Council 37
New York, New York