Target: U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander, Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Goal: Reinstate and supplement all hunger-relief benefits that were recently cut from the federal budget.
In 2009, the Obama administration temporarily increased the budget for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps, to provide much needed relief for low-income families after the 2008 financial crisis. Congress has now allowed the increased benefits to expire, despite the fact that the economy is in essentially the same condition for middle and low income families as it was in 2009. Congress is also proposing further cuts to food stamps as part of an upcoming “federal farm support program,” according to the New York Times. These cuts will aggravate an already serious financial situation for millions of Americans and should not be allowed to happen.
The 2008 financial crisis had a major impact on middle and low income families in America, and while recovery for high income earners has been strong since the crisis, little if any progress has been made for the rest of us. In 2007, about 26 million Americans were on food stamps, and today the number is about 48 million. Clearly, more people are in need of government benefits than ever, and cutting those benefits will have serious impacts on family life in America. If lower income Americans are struggling to pay for their food, they will struggle to pay for everything else as well.
In a country where enormous multinational corporations can pay basically nothing in taxes, and where economic recovery from a major recession is mostly concentrated in the top 1% of income earners, it is simply unethical to refuse food assistance to those in need. There are certainly other ways we could address the issue, by increasing access to education, healthcare, and living wages, but since our government appears determined not to improve any of those problems, the public is in need of some other kind of relief. SNAP provides food to people who need it, and nothing else. For the sake of millions of Americans in need, we must demand that Congress reinstate all of the funds it has cut from SNAP, and increase overall funding for this program.
Dear Senator Alexander,
Congress has allowed the increased Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits from 2009 to expire, despite the fact that the economy is in no better condition for middle and low income Americans than it was in 2009. Around 20 million Americans joined the food stamp program after the financial crisis in 2008, and many are still in need just as much as they were immediately after the crisis. You must not allow our people to go hungry. You must commit more funds to SNAP.
Almost all of the economic recovery since the 2008 crisis has been concentrated in the very top of income earners, and the financial realities for middle and low income Americans are the same as they were just after the market crash. To take away food assistance from those who need it is to endanger the lives of hard-working citizens and families. Government benefits are doled out to major corporations without a thought, while millions of people go hungry due to a broken economy. If our government insists on depriving its people of decent healthcare, education, and living wages, the least you can do is provide food stamps to keep your citizens from starving. Do the right thing by reinstating all funds to the SNAP program, and by increasing those funds overall.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com via Flickr