Food Assistance Bill Sends a Distressing Message
Washington, DC, August 2, 2013
Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World, issued the following statement on legislation currently being drafted by House Republicans that would cut $40 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) over 10 years:
“Bread for the World is deeply distressed by the $40 billion cut to SNAP proposed in the House yesterday. We know the suffering and crises that poor families face every day, even in a recovering economy. This cut would substantially increase the suffering of 47 million Americans who depend on SNAP to keep hunger at bay.
“The House Agriculture Committee proposed a farm bill earlier this year that would have cut SNAP by $20 billion dollars—which would have kicked 2 million people out of the program, reduced benefits for more than 800,000 families, and left 210,000 children without school meals.
“That proposed $20 billion cut is equivalent to eliminating half of all the charitable food distribution by churches and food banks over a 10-year period. The legislation that is currently being drafted doubles the cuts. Both proposals are truly cruel and unacceptable.
“We strongly affirm the government’s responsibility concerning poor people. The Bible teaches that civil authority comes from God—and God calls for protection of poor and vulnerable people. Assuring government’s obligation to advance the common good, ensure fairness, and defend the most vulnerable is good religion and good politics. Massive cuts to SNAP are neither.
“When the House SNAP bill comes to a vote in September we, along with many people of good will and faith, will be there to tell Congress that we must maintain a circle of protection around programs focused on hungry people.”
Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation's decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.
Fito Moreno, Interim Media Relations Manager, 202-688-1138