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Statement on Proposed Doubling of New Cuts to SNAP
Statement from New York City Coalition Against Hunger Executive Director Joel Bergon Proposed Doubling of New Cuts to SNAP (formerly food stamps)
the Same Day that President Obama Defended the Program
“On behalf of the 48 million Americans – and 1.8 million New Yorkers – who rely on SNAP to feed their families, I am devastated to learn that the most recent Senate Farm Bill proposal by Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow includes a doubling of cuts to the SNAP (formerly food stamps) program. It is notable that this proposal was unveiled on the very same day that President Obama eloquently defended the need for adequate SNAP funding. The initial Senate proposal of $4 billion in new cuts—on top of massive cuts to all 48 million benefit recipients already implemented November 1st – was already devastating. That was the first time in history that a Democratic-controlled Senate had even proposed cutting the SNAP program. The willingness of some Senate Democrats to double new cuts to the program – while leaving the corporate welfare in the bill mostly intact – is unthinkable.
On November 1st, SNAP benefits nationwide were cut by $5 billion. I recently met a mother of two, trying to advance herself and her family, by working her way through college. After November 1st, she lost $45 worth of groceries a month, which equals at least 30 fewer meals for her family. I challenge elected officials to meet Americans like this, look them in the eyes, and tell them that corporate welfare is more important than food for their children.
If implemented, these new cuts would increase hunger and cut jobs in the food industry. They would be both immoral and economically counter-productive. This is not ‘progress’ as Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow put it. This is turning a blind eye to those who need help feeding their families through difficult times. We urge other Senate, House Members, and the President to oppose this effort.”
Note: in a speech yesterday, President Obama said: "More than half of Americans at some point in their lives will experience poverty. That’s why we have nutrition assistance or the program known as SNAP, because it makes a difference for a mother who’s working, but is just having a hard time putting food on the table for her kids." See: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/12/04/remarks-president-economic-mobility