Government cuts funding for food stamps

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Government cuts funding for food stamps

Photo courtesy of Google Images

Photo courtesy of Google Images

Photo courtesy of Google Images

Sami Delvari - Staff Writer

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Recently, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, a government program that provides people with food stamps, received a cut of $39 billion for the next ten years.  The House of Representatives voted to pass this bill and the Senate recently approved the new budget.  This budget cut is the largest reduction in the food stamp program since the Food Stamps Act was enacted in 1964.  The program is part of the Farm Bill, legislation that funds food and agriculture in the United States.  This budget reduction will cut government costs by $5 billion a year.

Because of this budget cut, 3.8 million people will no longer have access to food stamps.  There are over 47 million people who rely on food stamps and who will have to take this budget cut into account every month when shopping for groceries.  This number includes senior citizens, children, people with disabilities and those who are unemployed.  This food stamp program will also make 170,000 veterans ineligible.  The amount of people who depend on food stamps has risen with 40.3 million people enrolled in 2010.   According to the New York Times, a family of four will receive $36 less a month in food stamps, which also means fewer meals each month.

“So many people rely on food stamps,” said junior Brianna Wenger.  “It is terrible that they are cutting a program that provides people with food, since it is a vital necessity.”

Food banks are expecting a large increase in demand.  According to USA Today, food banks have become the primary source of food for low-income citizens because of the lack of funding for food stamps.  Food stamps are now unable to cover the costs of nutritional items and can cover the cost of supplementary items, or foods that are of lower nutritional content in the food pyramid.  Food banks will heavily depend on the amount of donations they will receive in Dec.

“At food banks, we are all high-output, tight-performance operations as it is,” said Paul Ash, executive director of the San Francisco and Marin Food Banks to www.sfgate.com.  “As the line gets longer, you try to prioritize to the degree you can, but there is really not much you can do so it is not pretty.”

With these budget cuts, many are worried about how they will cover food costs.  There is a possibility of further budget cuts to SNAP, and if so, more people will be ineligible for the program.  Millions of people depend on food stamps to survive, and a large backlash may result if further cuts are made.

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