25
November

21 Million Kids May Go Hungry This Christmas

Some parents worry about a child who won’t eat, but this holiday season there are 10.7M American families with children who worry that their children can’t eat!  According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, this holiday season over 21M American children being affected by the November 1 cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program [SNAP], 2,285,000 of them in California.

Just prior to the cuts Media Matters sounded alarm bells on many fronts, but for the most part, news outlets took a two week hiatus from covering the $5-billion SNAP cuts that became effective November 1st.  Now, just days before the Thanksgiving recess, and three weeks before Congress adjourns for the year, SNAP is back in the news as legislators are digging in and effects are sinking in.   

With House Democrats holding fast in their opposition to further cuts, both sides agree that US farm bill talks stall, [and] sides far apart on food stamps.

Democratic leaders, outraged over the first $5-billion hit to SNAP, are holding firm in their opposition to further cuts.  Republicans, on the other hand, don’t think they went far enough.

House Agriculture Committee Chairman, Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) told The Hill  that negotiators are still working on the $33 billion difference over SNAP formerly known as food stamps cuts in the bill and he continues to push the stronger work requirements in the House-passed version.

The chairman argued that it would be “very challenging” now for him to meet the Republican leadership’s schedule of having a final agreement back on the House floor by Dec. 13.

Some Republican legislators have surprisingly simplistic ways to help whittle away at SNAP; like [R-LA] Senator David Vitter’s idea to ban felons from receiving food stamps. 

Cato Institute Fellow, Michael Tanner, agrees that Congress hasn’t gone far enough to cut SNAP.

It’s a harsh reality that as Congress prepares to adjourn for the rest of the year in celebration, over 21 million American children who rely on school meals will be in desperation as they face food insecurity throughout this holiday season.

Besides the friendly advice for those feeling the cuts, from Charlotte Fox 19 News [WBTV]—to eat less, buy in bulk, in season; and if all else fails, call your local food bank—the news from around the country has been sobering.

Millions Struggle to Eat While Congress Considers More SNAP Cuts.

SNAP cuts are real, [and they] are painful.
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Charity can’t pick up the food stamp slack.

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We are “slashing the safety net in lean times.”

Now it is all but certain that “food stamp cuts will stoke hunger” in America.

SNAP cuts affect 456,000 Washington Kids and as food pantries prep for holidays, SNAP cuts are expected to affect 1.8 million Ohio families.

So, as the halls of the House and the Senate empty for the holidays, it is with the hope that they will remember the poignant testimony of the real life “Witnesses to Hunger (and Poverty) on the Hill” or  to single mother Debra, a food stamp recipient living in Washington, who said recently in a Slate interview, meat is the first thing to go.