SNAP Faces Potential Billion Dollar Cuts, Could Increase Demand on Local Food Banks
By Morgan Hightower on August 5, 2012
Times are undoubtedly tough, unemployment is high, money is tight and thousands of our neighbors go to bed hungry each night.
Last year alone, the Greensboro Urban Ministry served more than 270,000 meals, and that number could go up.
Congress is looking for ways to balance the budget, and some believe that may result in a loss of services for the poor.
The House Agriculture Committee approved a bill that will cut $16.5 billion from SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps.
The cut would mean 2 to 3 million people would lose their benefits and another 500,000 households would have their benefits cut by $90 a month.
The fear is that people losing benefits will have to turn to local food banks. They are funded in part by the same program facing the congressional chopping block.
"From what I've heard, the food bank of Northwest North Carolina receives about 20 percent of their funding from snap so that would have another affect on poor and hungry people here," said Rev. Bob Herron, Bread for the World. "To live in a world, particularly in our country, where there is plenty and to have people who are struggling, and children especially who are not have enough food every day, or every week, it's just a crime."
Congress won't go back in session until September 11th.
Rev. Herron hopes that people will use this time to contact their lawmakers and ask them to keep SNAP funding intact.
This bill has not been passed. There is a similar bill that passed the Senate, but the funding cuts to SNAP were not as deep.
The current Farm Bill expires September 30th.