Yesterday, the House Agriculture Committee released its long-awaited draft of the farm bill. Unfortunately, as expected, the Committee’s bill would worsen the nutrition and health of millions of low-income Americans. By proposing significant, harmful cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, Congress is leaving behind large numbers of families across the nation.
SNAP is a highly effective and efficient program that currently helps 1 in 8 Americans put food on the table. Research shows that SNAP benefits are already inadequate, delivering only a modest allotment of approximately $1.40 per person per meal, and we cannot afford to further limit these benefits for the most underserved families. Studies demonstrate that SNAP reduces hunger, lowers health care costs, and has a positive lifetime impact on children.
The proposed cuts have far-reaching impacts. Not only will millions of struggling Americans lose access to these vital nutrition benefits, but also hundreds of thousands of kids will lose access to free school meals. Many kids are automatically eligible for free or reduced-price school meals simply because their household participates in SNAP. In some of these households, school breakfast and lunch are the only full and balanced meals children receive for the day. We cannot allow our children to go hungry at school or at home.
At FoodCorps, we work every day to connect kids to healthy food in school so that they are well-nourished and ready to learn. Our work teaching hands-on lessons in gardening and cooking, as well as the work of other organizations striving to keep kids healthy and fed, is undermined if our students cannot eat healthily at home. We oppose these proposed cuts to SNAP and urge lawmakers to abandon these harmful proposals and focus on policies that will truly help improve the health and nutrition of low-income Americans.
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