‘Tis the Season to be Hungry

SNAPphotoAs we dip into the holiday season and prepare to bake or fry our turkeys for Thanksgiving dinner, more than 47 million Americans will feel harsher pangs of food insecurity.  On Nov. 1, the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program’s (SNAP) benefits from the 2009 stimulus package will terminate, cutting the amount of federal assistance to the program by $5 billion.

SNAP, set up to help millions of Americans struggling to make ends meet by alleviating poverty and food insecurity, is now on the chopping block, and this budget decrease will affect every participant in the program, including about 22 million children.

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), this means SNAPstatsthat SNAP assistance will now average less than $1.40 per meal. Subsequently, households of four will see a decrease of about $36 per month. This is an extensive loss, considering the already inadequate amount of assistance the program provides. “These cuts will be particularly painful for the many families who struggle to have enough to eat at the end of each month even with SNAP assistance,” says Stacy Dean, vice president for Food Assistance Policy at the CBPP.

While it is uncertain the federal government will amend this national hunger calamity, the CBPP urges state governments to step up and provide assistance to make up for the cuts. If not, those millions of families will have to wait on not-so-hungry politicians in Washington to agree on and pass a farm bill, which, among other things, decides on the fate of the SNAP budget.

Photo courtesy of Stampz via Flickr; Graph courtesy of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

IMG_8982 Shae Collins is a recent Pepperdine University graduate and the creator of A Womyn’s Worth, a social commentary blog that addresses interests and cultural issues of black women. She is currently an intern at Ms.

Comments

  1. The GOP vote against job-creating legislation, legislation that would enable a living wage, and then cut food stamps and say, “if you don’t work, you don’t eat.” So logical. And so Christian of them.

  2. Put those politicians on that food budget, and let them see how far it goes…. Just sayin’

  3. Jo Oppenheimer says:

    That this food stamp cut is occurring in the USA boggles my mind. Being poor is not a sin; not something that those who subsist on food stamps welcome. It IS their reality. Congress should be ashamed (busha). Let each and every member of Congress subsist on $1.40 cents per day to learn what a horror they have created.

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