If House Republicans have their way, millions of Americans are going to go hungry over the next 10 years. The Farm Bill has been making its way through the halls of Capital Hill -- quietly, because it's called the FARM Bill and most of us think it doesn't have anything to do with us. So nobody is paying attention.
But about 80 percent of the Farm Bill is actually all about food stamps and other hunger programs. And the funding for those programs is about to get slashed in a huge way. If you're on food stamps now, get ready to tighten your belts even more. Kids getting free or reduced lunch at school? That could end for them, too.
The Senate version of the bill has already passed. They voted to cut $4.5 billion from the food stamps program now called SNAP. That would mean about 500,000 households a year would lose $90 per month in SNAP benefits.
But that's just the Senate version. The House version gets even worse. The House Agriculture Committee is proposing $16.5 billion in cuts. Almost FOUR TIMES the cuts in the Senate bill. They'll vote on it soon.
Connecticut Democrat Rep. Rosa DeLauro says that means between two and three million people would completely lose their benefits. About 300,000 kids would not get free school lunches.
You know who suffers the most from SNAP cuts? Children. Three quarters of SNAP participants are families with children. (And a quarter of them have a senior citizen or disabled person in the household.)
It's scary how many people have gone on food stamps since the recession began in 2007. It means people just aren't making ends meet and they need help. Obviously we want the economy to improve enough so that people can get off of assistance -- but we're putting the cart before the horse here, taking away benefits before we see enough jobs for everyone. So why are we making it harder for parents to feed their children? It just doesn't make sense to me.
By the way, a quick PSA video below just to refresh your memory on how a bill becomes a law. There's still time to stop the madness if you contact your Representatives. And read more about other families who could be affected by these cuts.
Do you or anyone else you know rely on SNAP to feed your family?
Image via CurtFleenor/Flickr