April 18, 2012

Feeding America is outraged by the House Agriculture Committee's vote today to drastically cut spending on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by over $33 billion. Cutting SNAP, particularly at a time when millions of Americans are struggling and the need for food assistance has never been greater, is simply wrong.

"Coming at a time of record need and at a time when many state and local safety net programs have been scaled back and the charitable system is stretched to the breaking point, these cuts would be devastating for low-income families and communities across the country.

"In the wake of the recession, SNAP responded as it was designed, providing benefits that are timely, targeted, and temporary. As the number of unemployed people increased by 94 percent from 2007 to 2011, SNAP responded with a 70 percent increase in participation over the same period. By making the decision to reconcile the budget with deep cuts to SNAP, the Committee would erode one of the nation's most critical, remaining safety nets.

"It is particularly troubling that the Committee chose to depart from Washington's long history of bipartisan commitment to protecting low-income safety net programs during deficit reduction efforts and instead met its savings target solely through cuts to SNAP, placing the weight of deficit reduction on the shoulders of those who are least able to bear the burden of cuts.

"We urge the House Agriculture Committee to reverse course by protecting and strengthening SNAP and other nutrition programs when it drafts a Farm Bill later this year."


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