SNAP is intended to give struggling families a safety net so they can afford food. However, around 850,000 low-income households will now lose about $90 in monthly SNAP benefits.
These cuts would be finalized in the Farm Bill. This legislation has passed in the House of Representatives and is expected to do so in the Senate shortly. While the cuts to SNAP were far less than called for by the House, it will still have a major effect on hungry families.
Feeding America says, "The effect of this cut would be concentrated in 15 states and the District of Columbia and would equate to about 34 lost meals per month for impacted households, and a total of 3.2 billion lost meals over 10 years."
The states impacted include California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.
This is the second round of SNAP cuts. Last November SNAP benefits were reduced for all beneficiaries, which is around 47 million Americans. A family of four lost around $36 per month in food stamps as a result. Those cuts are placing more demand on food banks, which were already stretched thin.
The Farm Bill does provide more support to the food banks through the Federal Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). However, food banks insist this will not make up the difference.
Feeding America reminds us that "SNAP is an investment in our collective future, helping those who have fallen on hard times put food on the table and get back on their feet. More than 90 percent of SNAP benefits go to households with incomes at or below the poverty line, and 76 percent of SNAP households include a senior, child, or disabled person."