The House of Representatives today passed a bill (H.R. 3102) which will cut $39 billion dollars from the food stamps program (SNAP). The House cuts arrive at a time when more than 50 million Americans are suffering from hunger.
Feeding America, which coordinates the nation's food bank network, says the cuts will be devastating.
Bob Aiken, the CEO of Feeding America said today, “Charity absolutely cannot make up for this substantial cut to federal food assistance. Millions of our most vulnerable neighbors will be at increased risk of hunger if these cuts become a reality."
Around four million people will lose food stamp benefits completely and 850,000 families will lose about $90 a month in SNAP benefits. The nation's school lunch program will be impacted as well. Feeding America says 210,000 children will lose free school meals as a result of the House legislation.
Child hunger is already a serious crisis in the country. The organization No Kid Hungry released a survey stating, "a majority of teachers (56%) say “a lot” or “most” of their students rely on school meals as their primary source of nutrition, so it’s clearer than ever that students need better access to food and nutrition programs."
Aiken said, “These cuts to SNAP combined with the scheduled American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) cuts to the program—scheduled to go into effect on Nov. 1, 2013—will result in the loss of about 3.4 billion meals provided to low-income Americans in 2014. That is more meals that the entire Feeding America Network of 200 food banks distributed through 61,000 food pantries and soup kitchens in 2013."
Feeding America is urging both political parties to work together and save food programs from these cuts.