Target: U.S. Congress
Goal: Preserve critical food program benefits for low-income families.
In the upcoming Farm Bill, the House and Senate are planning to cut nearly $25 million in funding for low-income food assistance (the SNAP program). The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, currently funds meals for nearly 47 million low-income people each month. The programs from the 2008 Farm Bill provided only about $1.50 per meal to begin with, and the new proposals would cut monthly assistance by about $25 for a family of three.
The Farm Bill is passed about every 5 years and contains provisions and policies for agricultural issues in the United States. One of those issues is hunger in America. The Farm Bill provides nutritional assistance, or “food stamps”, as well as disaster response and senior food programs. Families taking advantage of food stamps have nearly doubled since 2008. Polls show that 71% of Americans are opposed to cutting this benefit, and Congress needs to listen.
According to the Seattle Times, “Nearly half of food stamp recipients are children… At a time when much of America’s focus is rightly trained on education, it is worth reminding the Senate that children with empty stomachs are less likely to do well in school.” Robert Egger said, “A kid who is hungry cannot learn. A kid who can’t learn drops out of school. A kid without an education can’t get a job and help America compete in the global economy. A kid without a job may turn to crime, get arrested and cost taxpayers $40,000 a year to sit in prison.”
With billions of taxpayer dollars going to the bank bailouts in plans designed by Wall Street for Wall Street, $25 million is a drop in the bucket. Help keep this lifeline for low-income families and demand that Congress oppose any proposals to reduce funding, restrict eligibility, or make negative changes to SNAP.
Dear U.S. Congress,
I urge you to safeguard SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as “food stamps,” from devastating cuts in funding. This program keeps meals on the table at a time when low-income families need it most. Please reject these changes in the Farm Bill.
This program has far-reaching benefits for our economy and our future. As Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, (D-NY), explains, “For every dollar that’s invested into the SNAP program, we get $1.71 back in return. This money pays the salaries of grocery clerks as well as the truckers who haul the food and produce across the country… As Moody’s economist Mark Zandi put it, ‘The fastest way to infuse money into the economy is through expanding the SNAP/food stamp program.'”
Furthermore, the Seattle Times reports that, “Nearly half of food stamp recipients are children… At a time when much of America’s focus is rightly trained on education, it is worth reminding the Senate that children with empty stomachs are less likely to do well in school.”
Seventy one percent of Americans polled by the Food Action Research Council said that reducing SNAP funding was the wrong way to reduce spending. I urge you to listen to your voters and constituents and reject proposals to reduce, cap or negatively restructure SNAP benefits in the Farm Bill.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons