by Billy Shore, Share Our Strength
Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that would cut nearly $40 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps). The measure will kick off of SNAP at least 4 million Americans at risk of hunger and cause more than 200,000 kids to lose access to free school meals.
This legislation comes at a time when SNAP households are already preparing to see a November 1 cut in benefits that means approximately 20 fewer meals per month for a family of four. SNAP is the most powerful and effective tool we have for combating childhood hunger and has been proven to reduce poverty. Nearly 50% of SNAP participants are children, and cutting this program has major ramifications for the economy as well as the health and well-being of our kids, seniors, and working poor.
Making sure our fellow citizens have enough to eat isn’t just the right thing to do; it’s the smart thing to do. When children get the healthy food they need, they learn more at school and ward off long-term developmental and health problems. SNAP helps low-wage workers stay employed and feed their families even when working full-time at minimum wage leaves them in poverty. In short, we can’t have a strong economy with weak children and families.
You can learn more about the long-term economic ramifications of cutting SNAP by watching the video here: http://video.msnbc.msn.com/now/53052546#53052546
Share our Strength will continue to fight for the critical SNAP funding that helps families meet their children’s nutritional needs at home, and to connect families to key federal nutrition programs like summer meals and school breakfast where children learn and play. Cutting $40million from SNAP should simply not be an option.
Note: A few of the Catalogue nonprofits that help feed the poor and working poor include: ALIVE!, Arlington Food Assistance Center,? Food for Others, Manna Food Center, Miriam’s Kitchen and Our Daily Bread.