Did that headline get your attention? I hope so. Yes, it’s a bit overly dramatic. Congress also wants to do things like balance the budget and cut spending and other stuff that helps them keep their jobs.
But sometimes the cost of that comes down to something as dramatic, and simple, as children going hungry.
The laws that authorize the SNAP program — commonly known as Food Stamps, actually called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — is part of the Farm Bill going to Congress tomorrow. As of now, they are attempting to cut $16 billion in funding for SNAP.
Sit on that figure for a moment. $16 BILLION.
That adds up to a LOT of hungry children.
I’ve spoken extensively about my own impoverished childhood — too much, in some minds. But I promise you that not having enough food to eat as a child leaves an indelible mark on you: it scars you, and it shapes you, and shapes your decisions as an adult, daily.
My daughter, now six years old (and pictured), has never known hunger. She understands financial limits, budgets, and having a low bank account. But she doesn’t know what it’s like to open the fridge and find nothing there.
God willing, she never will.
But should my circumstances change – a terrible accident, a financial calamity, anything – I would love to know that no matter what I’d have access to SNAP. But with $16 billion in potential cuts, who knows if that’s true?
The Farm Bill isn’t perfect, or even close to it. But without it, children will be hungry. Plain and simple. Forget the manufactured image of a the “welfare queen” and instead think about her children. THIS is who is hurt by cuts like these.
This infographic helps explain the importance of SNAP and the connection to the Farm Bill. After you’ve read it, I hope you’ll get in touch with your congress members now with the help of Share Our Strength. This matters.
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