The case for food stamps
May 24, 2013
by Christopher D. Cook
Los Angeles Times
Slashing food aid makes no sense in humanitarian, economic or public health terms.
To hear Republicans — and some Democrats — in Congresstalk, you'd think food-stamp dollars just disappear into a black hole. The prevailing debate in the Senate and House versions of the farm bill, which contains funding for food stamps (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP), is over how much to cut. But when more than 15% of Americans remain impoverished, slashing food assistance for the poor makes no sense in humanitarian, economic or public health terms.
The House bill, which is gaining steam after passage by the Agriculture Committee last week, is the more draconian of the two. It would chop $20 billion over 10 years from SNAP, and its changes to food-stamp eligibility rules would cut off vital sustenance for about 2 million low-income people, including seniors and families with children. According to theCongressional Budget Office, 210,000 children in low-income families would lose their free school meals under the House plan.
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