Oh, and it provides a boost to local economies of almost $2 for every $1 spent?
Not just food, food stamps. Or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) as it’s now called.
But, for millions of families, this support is in danger. The current version of the farm bill – which covers SNAP – proposes cuts that would mean 1.5 million less families would have access to food stamps, and 200,000 fewer low-income children would have free school lunch.
This means less families will have enough food on the table. Fewer kids – 47% of SNAP beneficiaries are kids – will have nutritious meals. And more parents will have to choose to pay the rent or to go the grocery store.
Food stamps go to struggling families, and benefits are modest. Eighty-three percent of SNAP families live below the poverty level – that’s about $19,000 for a family of three – and the benefit is about $1.50 per person per meal. And while these modest benefits might be cut, farm subsidies will go up in the new farm bill, subsidies that have put millions of dollars into the pocket of one of the lead representatives pushing for food stamp cuts. Hmmm….
Food stamps themselves help farmers. About 20 cents from every SNAP dollar goes to farmers, and with efforts underway to support food stamp use at farmers’ markets and farm stands, even more can go to the people who grow our food.
SNAP is more than a food program. It’s an education program that helps kids focus in school, it’s a prevention program that keeps kids from getting sick, and it’s a stimulus that puts money directly into our towns and cities.
Taking food from struggling kids and families isn’t just heartless; it’s also short-sighted.
So, what can you do?
Take action. Contact your representative and senators, and sign this petition to let Congress know it’s not OK to cut SNAP.