Whether you call it a cut or a reduction or a stimulus sunset, the drop in food stamp funding that began on November 1 is unique in the history of the program. Unlike the $39 billion House Republicans would like to slash from the program, which would largely come from limiting enrollment, or the Senate’s $4 billion reduction, which would trim the administrative budget, the $5 billion cut is coming directly out of recipients' checks.
As Kim Severson and Winnie Hu write in The New York Times, “It is the largest wholesale cut in the program since Congress passed the first Food Stamps Act in 1964 and touches about one in every seven Americans.”
The article opens with the premise that cutting $10 or $20 out of a monthly food budget wouldn’t be all that difficult for many. But the pair speak to residents of Charleston, S.C., and New York City for whom margins were already very thin before their SNAP benefits were reduced—and they make a convincing case that the cuts hurt.
There’s the man who spends half of his some $800 Social Security check on rent, his November food stamp budget of $33 already gone. There are "weeks of grits and margarine for breakfast." Then there’s the single mother in the Bronx who is trying to buy less with her SNAP benefit and has already turned to a local food bank for help.
"I try to get most of the things my daughter eats because I can hold the hunger—I’m an adult—but she cannot,” she said. “They don’t understand when there’s no food in the fridge."
Original article from TakePart
- Budget, Tax & Economy
- Politics & Government