Just in time for the holidays, federal cuts to the food stamp program will kick in. And Bob Aiken, chief executive of the nonprofit Feeding America, writes at CNN that the changes "are significant and will put a strain on millions of families struggling with food insecurity."
The upcoming cuts will result in an increased need for food assistance at food pantries and soup kitchens across the nation when many are already stretched meeting sustained high need in the wake of the recession.
At Feeding America, we're doing everything we can to prepare our network of food banks for the increased demand, but charity alone cannot make up for the impending $5 billion loss in SNAP funding. The reduced funding will result in the loss of nearly 1.9 billion meals in the next year. That's more than half of Feeding America's total projected output for 2014.
The cuts this week are significant and will put a strain on millions of families struggling with food insecurity, hitting them right before the holiday season. Adding to this is the fact that Congress is considering much deeper cuts to SNAP benefits and eligibility restrictions that will affect millions of low-income people as part of the farm bill.
In September, the House passed legislation cutting $40 billion in SNAP over the next 10 years, according to a Feeding America analysis. Together with this week's cuts, the pending legislation will result in a loss of nearly 3.4 billion meals for low-income Americans in 2014 alone, according to a Feeding America analysis. These are meals our most vulnerable citizens cannot afford to lose, and food banks and other charities simply cannot fill that gap.
While we cannot stop this week's SNAP cuts, we can prevent further cuts from taking place. Call your member of Congress and tell them not to cut SNAP.
Read Bob Aiken's entire piece at CNN.
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