FRAC Releases New Polling Data Showing Overwhelming Support for Efforts to End Hunger

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Poll Reveals Deep Support for Food Stamps, Opposition to Cutting the Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jennifer Adach, 202.986.2200 x3018

Washington, D.C. – January 19, 2012 – By an overwhelming margin, American voters oppose cutting food stamp assistance (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP) as a way to reduce government spending, according to new poll data released today by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC). Seventy-seven percent of voters say this is the wrong way to reduce spending and only 15 percent favor cutting such assistance.

  • The opposition to cutting food stamps crossed party lines: 92 percent of Democrats, 74 percent of Independents, and 63 percent of Republicans say this is the wrong way to reduce spending.
  • Only nine percent of those polled said they would be more likely to support a candidate who favors cutting funds for the food stamp program; half said they would be less likely.
  • Opposition to food stamp cuts is even more overwhelming than in polling data FRAC released in November 2010, when 71 percent said it was the wrong way to cut spending.

Voters are broadly concerned about the nation’s hunger problem: 81 percent say that low-income families and children not being able to afford enough food to eat is a serious problem.

The poll of 1,013 registered voters was conducted by Hart Research Associates from January 11-17, 2012. Support for ending hunger and protecting food stamps was high across party lines, age, race, gender, income, and geographical areas.

Food stamp benefits currently go to one in seven Americans, a historically high participation rate that is largely attributable to a poor economy and the added millions of working families struggling with hunger. FRAC commissioned this poll to measure support for anti-hunger measures generally and for food stamps in particular, at a time when Congress is returning for a new session, and when some state policymakers (e.g., in Michigan and Pennsylvania), some conservatives in Congress, and some political leaders have launched attacks on the program. The poll shows that a majority of Americans believe that that the Food Stamp Program is very important to the country, and strongly believe that the federal government should have a major role in the effort to provide low-income people with the food and nutrition they need.

“What this poll tells us is that, despite rhetoric and false claims about the program, Americans across the country see food stamps as a program that works and that is making a real difference for people,” said FRAC President Jim Weill. “We urge all national and state policymakers to recognize SNAP’s strengths as an essential support for Americans. With high rates of hunger, poverty, and unemployment, SNAP is helping millions of families put food on the table. American voters won’t tolerate hunger in our midst, and across party lines they support this valuable program.”