Target: United State Congress
Goal: Continue funding low-income hunger relief program to ensure food is accessible to people across the country
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program, or SNAP, formerly called food stamps, is a program designed to help people who are struggling to make ends meet and provide meals for their families each day. One out of every seven Americans receives a monthly stipend for groceries through SNAP. With so many individuals facing financial hardships, an unstable economy and rising food prices, it is imperative that Congress collectively resist significant cuts to this portion of the Farm Bill’s budget.
The Farm Bill was created in 1933 to deal with primary agricultural and food policy issues. Since then, it has been re-evaluated and passed every five years or so with different funding adjustments and policy additions. The majority of the Farm Bill dollars, in fact about 80%, is put toward SNAP as well as other nutrition programs that support children, disabled people and the elderly. The controversy now within the House is whether, due to the national economic budget deficit, to sustain this program or make drastic cuts.
Those against the bill cite the misuse of low-income programs by so many of their users as a key reason to reduce funding. This extreme generalization overlooks the fact that more and more regulations are being installed to reduce the risk of fraud within SNAP. There are strict rules people using SNAP benefits must adhere to, ensuring that their stipends are being used to buy or plant nutritious food products.
Most of the people using SNAP benefits are below the poverty line. For a family of four, the poverty threshold is a little over $23,000. Bills, gasoline and living expenses add up, and getting by isn’t easy for a large percentage of people in America. Recent college graduates are pushed into a working world with very few job opportunities. Men and women who have been able to support their families in the past no longer can afford to even buy enough groceries for the month.
In addition, 75 percent of households using SNAP stipends include at least one child, senior or disabled citizen. Americans have enough expenses to worry about as is, and the extra concern for how to feed themselves or their children should not be added to that stress. Congress needs to realize that now, more than ever, is not the time to cut or even reduce government spending on anti-hunger programs.
Until a solution to eradicate America’s developing hunger crisis can be brought forth, SNAP and other similar food assistance programs are the solution. SNAP provides, on average, 4 dollars a day for each member of the family using the program to buy groceries. If the current proposed cuts to this bill are instated, hundreds of thousands of working Americans will be left hungry, wondering when their next meal will come. Please sign this petition and urge U.S. Congress not to reduce funding of SNAP and keep anti-hunger programs budgeted within the Farm Bill.
Dear United States Congress,
The 2012 Farm Bill that is about to be revised and decided upon in Congress holds heavy importance for just about every American. About 46 million of those Americans use the program known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, to provide themselves and their families nutritious food with the stipend they are given each month through this system.
Current proposals to cut or reduce the money allocated to SNAP and other anti-hunger organizations would be cruel and unjust. Many argue that people misuse the program or rely too heavily upon it. Others argue that due to the state of our economy and the national deficit, funding should be put toward more pressing issues that will help our country climb out of debt. What is being overlooked is that the status of our economy is precisely what pushes hard-working Americans to humble themselves and ask for monetary help in order to feed their loved ones.
Recent college graduates who can’t find a job, young children with low-income parents, and the elderly and disabled who rely on SNAP benefits for food will be unfairly pushed to the brink of hunger and left wondering where there next meal will come from if the severe proposed budget cuts are put in place. Until there is a solution to fix the problem of millions of hungry people in the United States, SNAP is the solution. I urge you to ensure that funding toward SNAP and similar food-assistance programs is continued through the 2012 Farm Bill and that 46 million people will not be left hungry.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: .michael.newman via Flickr