Keep Fighting This Food Day
Advocacy for the most vulnerable is never complete. While still fresh from the long and tumultuous battle over government funding and the debt ceiling, we need to continue fighting. The Farm Bill, which includes SNAP, our largest anti-hunger program, is now moving quickly through committee.
Just before the shutdown, the House passed a Farm Bill that cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, also known as food stamps) by $39 billion dollars, which would have thrown at least 4 million vulnerable Americans off the program. Now, that bill is being combined with the Senate bill, which cuts “only” $4.1 billion from SNAP. The conference members were released early last week and include a few Members who are likely to support further cuts to the program.
The stats on the necessity of SNAP are worth reiterating: This year almost 50 million Americans received SNAP benefits. Nearly 50% of all American children will receive SNAP benefits before age 20. And almost 75% of SNAP beneficiaries are in households with children, seniors or a disabled individual.
We need to redouble our efforts against cutting SNAP (especially since today is Food Day!). While each chamber has passed a version of the bill, both houses have to approve any compromise that comes out of the committee. Please take action now and urge your Representative to oppose cuts to SNAP. The Interreligious Working Group on Domestic Human Needs is also hosting a special conference call this Friday at 2pm EST on Post Shutdown Advocacy. Dial-in at (712) 432-0393 and use the code 175622.