House farm bill would leave millions hungry

May 26, 2013
by Emily Cox


The most recent version of the 2013 Farm Bill being debated in Congress effectively takes food out of the mouths of millions of people, at least half of them children.

The House Committee on Agriculture (our own Rep. Bob Goodlatte is the vice chair of the committee) passed their version of the Farm Bill on May 16 with huge cuts to the Supplemental Nutritional Aid Program. It would end benefits for as many as 3 million Americans and reduce benefits for more than 850,000 households. It would eliminate free school lunches for as many as 210,000 children. It would also eliminate or reduce states’ ability to automatically register people for SNAP when they apply for heating assistance or other government benefits, making it harder for those in need to access benefits.

My literary arsenal doesn’t include enough ugly words for the outrage this causes me.

Let’s clear up a few common misconceptions. Throw out the image of lazy people sitting at home watching soap operas while eating on the government dole. Statistics from the mid-2000s show that more than half of the people who enrolled in SNAP for the first time stayed on the program for less than a year, leaving the program when their need had passed. And many war veterans depend on food stamps to feed their families as they recover from debilitating injuries.

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