Sixteen. That’s the number of meals per month the average family on the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program (SNAP) will lose after a $5 billion cut in the program takes effect today.
Millions of families, especially children, rely on SNAP benefits to keep from going hungry. Now, because of an arbitrary cut, these same families must scramble to make up for the lost support.
And, it seems the worst isn’t over. Some in the Senate are considering more changes to a program that one in six Americans currently need to alleviate the challenges of poverty.
“We have long opposed this cut which will result in families seeing SNAP benefits drop overnight with the prospect of more cuts to come,” said NCLR president and CEO Janet Murguía in a statement. “On top of this cut, legislation being considered in the Senate would slash SNAP by another $4 billion, while the House of Representatives is pushing to gut the program by $40 billion. These unnecessary and downright cruel measures will only serve to cut off access to healthy food for our families.”
Indeed, SNAP has been consistently identified as one of the most effective tools aimed at keeping children free from hunger and lifting low-income families out of poverty. Of the 47 percent of Americans who receive SNAP benefits, nearly 17 percent of them are Latino. Cutting the program is wildly unpopular, especially with the Hispanic community. In fact, three out of four Latinos oppose legislation that reduces benefits like SNAP. And, let’s not forget that SNAP benefits contribute to our economy by helping to boost activity in the agricultural, retail, and transportation sectors.
“Risking the health of America’s future is irresponsible. We need Congress to instead invest in our future by ensuring that children who will need SNAP in their lifetime are properly fed,” said Murguía. Our lawmakers must avoid senseless cuts to SNAP and pass a responsible long-term budget.”