Food Stamps: Harder Choices on Poor

08 November 2013 |permalink | email article

Cuts in food stamps, a $10 or $20 cut in in the monthly food budget would be absorbed with little notice.  But for millions of poor Americans who rely on food stamps, reductions that begin this month present awful choices. One gallon of milk for kids instead of two. No fresh broccoli for dinner or snacks to take to school. Weeks of grits and margarine for breakfast. For many, it will mean turning to a food pantry or soup kitchen by the middle of the month. In 2009, people started getting as much as 13.6 percent more in food stamps as part of the federal economic stimulus package, but that increase has expired. That reduction will save the government about $5 billion next year.

Food stamps are likely to be cut more in the coming years if Congress can agree on a new farm bill, which House and Senate negotiators began tackling this week. The Republican-controlled House has approved cutting as much as $40 billion from the program by making it harder to qualify. The Democratic-controlled Senate is suggesting a $4 billion cut by making administration cuts. It’s an unspeakable national disgrace!

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