Feeding America, the nation's largest hunger relief organization, today warned that pending cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) will put many of our nation's seniors at risk of hunger.
The Farm Bill passed by the House Agriculture Appropriations Committee in July cuts over $16billion from SNAP. These cuts, if enacted, would cause two to three million individuals to lose their food assistance entirely. An additional 500,000 households would have their SNAP benefits cut by an average $90 per month.
"For many seniors living on fixed incomes, SNAP is a lifeline. Far too many of our nation's elderly are having to choose between putting food on the table and other household necessities," said Vicki Escarra , president and CEO of Feeding America."Seniors have given us the America that we have today, we owe it to them to make sure that they have enough resources to fill their pantries and their prescriptions. ."
SNAP is a crucial safety net for low-income seniors, who often are at greater risk of food insecurity:
[i] Trends in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Participation Rates: Fiscal Years 2002-2009. U.S. Department of Agriculture. August 2011. http://www.fns.usda.gov/ora/menu/Published/snap/SNAPPartNational.htm
[ii] Feeding America estimates using U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service. Characteristics of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Households: Fiscal Year 2010. Table B.5. September 2011. http://www.fns.usda.gov/ora/menu/Published/snap/SNAPPartHH.htm
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