2 Million Families Could Go Hungry Soon, Thanks to Congress

OMG 39

empty plateIf 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

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the4m... the4mutts

Some people I know receive welfare & foodstamps.

This probably won't happen, but here's what I hope:

Maybe this will cut down on people abusing the system.

Hell, my kids' school tried to put them on free lunch, and we have a good income, and own our house! Why did they try? Because my 3 older kids' last name: Hernandez.

Aparently this school gets money because its mostly minority kids that go here. I had to reject them every month, all year. The principal even called, practically begging me to accept it! I didn't, because I don't like my kids eating school lunch real often, and because it was stupid of them to stereotype my half hispanic children that way.

Maybe this cut will help weed out the freebies for people that really don't need them

nonmember avatar Jennifer

Most of the children who qualify for the free lunch programs should ALREADY be getting a free lunch through the government food stamps their parents get to feed them! Why can't mom and dad do their job?

right... rightside

We know quite a few families who would qualify for assistance, but are using local food pantries instead.  It's cheaper and more effective for these services to be handled at the local level, so I'm not terribly concerned with the cut-backs - and yes, I know, there will be dozens of stories of woe in the comments, all bashing me, wishing me hard times, and wondering where my compassion is - it's fine. 

We have come to a point in America where ALL SPENDING needs to be reigned in - every entitlement program is burning through more cash than is needed to meet the VALID demands of the program because of fraud and the cost of implementing the programs.  We are also reaping what was sown decades ago with these entitlement programs, well-intended at the time - now we see generations of people who can't/won't take responsibility for their own survival because it's too easy to live comfortably on my dime. 

nonmember avatar Courtney

the4mutts, I was just thinking that same thing. I used to work at a grocery store and it made me sick to see people who were dressed in designer clothes head to toe, new cell phone, luxury car, and still using food stamps. Maybe this will cut down on those type of people. It still makes me worry about the people who really need it that might have an even harder time receiving it now.

OoOJa... OoOJanisOoO

When my family lived in Germany (we are military) they pushed wic and free lunch on us all the time! We never accepted it and never suffered financially.

2boys... 2boysmama311

I would hate to see children, who may not have food at home go hungry. However, the sad fact is millions of people have abused this system. Food stamps, welfare etc.. was set up to give temporary help to those that need until they got back on their feet. It was not meant to be a lifestyle choice. 

I understand that times are hard, and that it can be difficult to find a job. There are jobs are there, it may not be a job that you want to have forever, but it would be a job that would pay the bills and put food on the table. A few million bad apples have spoiled the bunch. I am all for drug testing before receiving benefits. It is not an invasion of privacy or an attack on any one's civil rights. You are receiving something that the tax payers fund, no one is entitled to it. 

Hocke... HockeyMomNJ

Rightside, once again - right on. With the economy the way it is, we gotta stop the spending. There are local programs in place for most needing assistance. Maybe this will push the people who really don't need it.

Smerk... Smerkalot

the4mutts... I like you more and more with every comment you write, agree with majority of them.. almost replied to the one you left on Jenny Erikson's post earlier.

jharr... jharris109

Many many people who recieve food stamps abuse them. Because you can buy just about anything with them, people do not buy the healthy inexpensive food that they actually need. I know quite a few people who get them and inside of buying fresh produce, meats, dairy and bread/cereal/pasta, they buy JUNK food, chips, snack packs, ice cream, frozen meals and the like. I know that when I was one food stamps I could feed my family of 3 WELL on 250$ a month, we ate almost every meal at home and I even had people over for dinner twice a week. While I know that food prices have gone up a bit, I still feed me and my daughter, with people coming over once a week on that same budget (just not in food stamps anymore).

Jespren Jespren

We were on food stamps briefly while my husband (sole provider) was unemployed, we got an rediculious amount of money for food, easily twice what we normally would have spent on food. Not only is there a lot of fat to trim as far as general abuses (people who shouldn't be receiving freebies that shouldn't be or using them for things like cigarettes and alcohol in dishonest stores) but there is also just a lot of fat to cut from the general use of them. $90 less a month? Sorry, can't find the sympathy. I've had to cut our grocery allowance $100 to find money to save for our upcoming move. It means cheaper cuts of meat, more brown rice and other good-for-you staples that have to be cooked instead of tossed in the microwave but, guess what, we *still* could cut another $100 without starving and even before we cut the first time we used half of what we got in food stamps.

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