SNAP Program being Cut and Safety Net Begin to Decline
Posted in the Rockport Forum
#1 Jun 20, 2012
Block grant failure and government SNAP program failure, election blackmail by both parties in Congress.
Budget cuts food stamp funding by at least $133.5 billion, or 17 percent, over ten years, meaning over 8 million men, women, and children could be cut from the program. It also attempts to convert our most important and successful federal anti-hunger program into a woefully inadequate block grant that would be incapable of responding to downturns in the economy or the needs of American families.
This is not the direction we should be moving in. In the words of President Harry Truman, "nothing is more important in our national life than the welfare of our children, and proper nourishment comes first in attaining this welfare." And in this economy, child poverty, child hunger, and food insecurity have all been on the rise, and middle-class and working families are working harder than ever to make ends meet. In 2010, nearly 15 percent of American households were food insecure. This means nearly 50 million Americans, including over 16 million children, face the real risk everyday of going hungry.
Last year, with 13 million unemployed and one in six living below the official poverty level, over 46 million Americans almost half of them children used food stamps to get their basic foods. Nearly 75 percent of participants are families with children. According to the Census Bureau, the program lifted 5.2 million Americans over the poverty line in 2010. And without food stamps, the poverty rate would have been over 21 percent for children.
Some in our country, however, want to blame those that temporarily rely on food stamps for their plight. I find this wrongheaded for a number of reasons. For one, as a Catholic, I have always believed we have a moral obligation to alleviate suffering and hunger. In the words of Matthew 25:35,For I was hungry and you gave me food. In the deeds of Christ, who brought plenty in the midst of want with the miracle of loaves and fishes. Preventing our fellow citizens from starving and suffering the effects of malnutrition is a basic component of what good government does.
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