Statement attributable to FRAC President Jim Weill.
Washington, D.C. – April 1, 2014 – Sadly, it’s not an April Fool’s Joke. Today, April 1, for the fourth time in as many years, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) has released a budget that slashes deeply the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and other low-income programs. He recycles the failed idea of converting SNAP into a block grant, adds the failed attempt to remove low-income seniors and working families from SNAP by ending the state option known as categorical eligibility, and pledges to end the program that links SNAP with energy payments to low-income people.
Ryan has opted to perpetuate myths rather than look at SNAP and how it’s helped millions of people navigate challenging economic times by providing essential food assistance. Here are the facts:
It’s time for Rep. Ryan and others concerned with the budget to stop asking how much to cut from SNAP, and start asking what is going to help struggling families across this nation and thereby reduce long-term health and other costs. Making benefits more adequate is a start – people can afford healthier food when they have more resources. The SNAP benefit now averages only $1.40 per person per meal and on average, households have less than a quarter of their benefits remaining by the middle of the month. That was true even before across-the-board SNAP benefit cuts affecting more than 47 million people were made in November 2013, as well as additional cuts made by the recently passed Farm Bill. Spending time on old and failed ideas does nothing to advance the fight to end hunger and poverty in this country, and Congress should – as it has in the past – reject this callous budget.
Contact: Jennifer Adach, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202.640.1118