SNAP cuts put millions without food on Thanksgiving
By William Lambers on November 18, 2013
Bread for the World said today that that recent food stamp cuts has eliminated 150 million meals for Americans in need. Families are now facing the prospect of a Thanksgiving holiday with little or no food in the house.
On November 1st, the food stamps (SNAP) program was reduced because of the expiration of benefits from the federal stimulus program. "Across the country, millions are feeling the pain of these cuts," said Bread for the World today.
There are over 49 million Americans who suffer from hunger and most of these use food stamps as a safety net. It is estimated that 87 percent of food stamp recipients live in households with children, seniors or people with disabilities. This safety net would normally provide food for most of the month.
Now with food stamp benefits reduced, hungry Americans will run out of supplies earlier. They will turn to food banks and pantries for support sooner in the month than before. However, food banks do not have the supplies to continually meet this increase in demand.
Feeding America CEO Bob Aiken says, "We anticipate that, faced with this sudden drop in their monthly food budget, many people who receive SNAP benefits will seek additional help from our food banks and the agencies they serve. Unfortunately, our food banks across the nation continue to be stretched thin in their efforts to meet sustained high need in the wake of the recession.”
The situation will get worse should Congress go through with more planned cuts. The House of Representatives is pushing for almost $40 billion in food stamp cuts for the Farm Bill. The House plan also calls for the elimination of free school meals for 210,000 children. The Congress is currently working on the final Farm Bill legislation.
Bread for the World and other advocacy groups are urging citizens to contact their representatives about the hunger and food stamp crisis.