FRAC Applauds New Proposed Legislation to Strengthen SNAP Benefits

By Contrast, House Agriculture Committee Bill Would Leave Millions of Americans with Empty Cupboards

Statement attributable to FRAC President Jim Weill
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June 17, 2013 – Washington, D.C. – As the Farm Bill moves to the floor of the House of Representatives this week, Congress must acknowledge that any cut to SNAP means less food in the cupboards and refrigerators of the hungriest people in America – including children, seniors, working families, unemployed workers, and people with disabilities.

At a time when more than one in six Americans struggle to put food on the table, it is unconscionable for Congress to consider any cuts to SNAP, let alone the proposed House bill’s more than $20 billion over the next ten years. Specifically, the House bill would result in at least 1.8 million people losing SNAP benefits entirely, and another 1.7 million people losing $90 per month.

SNAP must be strengthened. According to the Institute of Medicine, current SNAP benefit levels are inadequate in most circumstances, and leave many households hungry by the end of the month. FRAC applauds Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL), and 25 additional House Members (see list below) for introducing a bill that would require SNAP benefits to be calculated using USDA’s low-cost food plan, which would improve benefit allotments, would positively impact the health and nutrition of millions of Americans, and would reduce long-term health costs.

The House of Representatives must reject cuts to SNAP and pass a Farm Bill that protects and strengthens the program. Ensuring that our most vulnerable populations have enough food to eat is not only the right thing to do, it is essential to the nation’s social, economic, and fiscal success. Seven out of 10 voters say cutting SNAP funding is the wrong way to reduce government spending – it’s past time for Congress to listen.

Joining Congressman Deutch as cosponsors of the legislation are Representatives Jim McGovern (D-MA), Jim Langevin (D-RI), Gwen Moore (D-WI), John Lewis (D-GA), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Gene Green (D-TX), Frederica Wilson (D-FL), Danny Davis (D-IL), Maxine Waters (D-CA),Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Corrine Brown (D-FL), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Dina Titus (D-NV), Steven Horsford (D-NV), Filemon Vela (D-TX), Tony Cardenas (D-CA), Alcee Hastings (D-FL), Greg Meeks (D-NY), John Conyers (D-MI), Bobby Rush (D-IL), Mark Pocan (D-WI), and Pete Gallego (D-TX).