Congressman Scott Peters spent Friday morning, December 20, making a few public appearances in the downtown area, stumping for policies to promote access to food for the disadvantaged and elderly at each.
Peters started the morning at Third Avenue Charitable Organization, protesting a federal plan likely to cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Plan, or food stamps, by $8 billion over ten years. Republicans had originally sought $40 billion in cuts to the program as part of a farm bill that's 14 months overdue.
The next stop was at Senior Community Centers in support of the group's "Fill A Plate" fundraiser, which aims to replace $233,000 in federal funding the organization lost as a result of sequestration cuts.
"Senior meals that we fund today keep people in their homes so that they aren't forced into nursing homes, which would actually cost us more on the Medicare side," Peters said.
Peters ended his morning at San Diego Rescue Mission, presenting a $2000 check to CEO Herb Johnson. Peters has donated a total of $7500 in recent weeks as a symbolic gesture of refusing to accept his congressional pay during the October shutdown of federal government.
"I don't think it's fair for me to take a paycheck while the government is shut down," Peters said. "So I divided my pay amongst some of the San Diego charities that are helping people most hurt by [federal budget cuts]."
Johnson said his operation's $19 million budget was almost fully funded by private donations. The organization provides long-term shelter and rehabilitation services to nearly 300 people.
"We're also the only shelter in San Diego that takes in women and children at night," Johnson added.