Low-income families will suffer from food stamp budget cuts

Video Editor

This past month Republicans in the House passed a bill that if passed by the Senate would cut nearly $40 billion in funding from the federal SNAP program. Half of the funding would be cut causing 3 million families to lose all benefits and nearly a million to get a lesser amount of food stamps.

The damage that the bill would cause if passed is almost incalculable. Millions of people would lose the vital assistance they need to purchase food. Today, 15 percent of Americans are living in poverty and getting poorer. 

Both the median family income and median family net worth declined significantly in the last few years. Americans are getting poorer.

People who use the program are those who need it the most. The people who are losing their jobs and have kids to feed use the SNAP program. Without food stamps, children are going to go to bed hungry and become malnourished  Expecting mothers will see their unborn children suffer. Reduction in food stamps will be responsible for limiting the physical and educational development of low-income children. 

Average food stamp allowance is already very low and many would see their share of funding cut even lower. Currently, the average person on food stamps can expect $133 a month. Most of us students know that this isn’t much as it turns out to be less than $5 dollars a day. Most of us spend more than that on a single meal. 

Additionally, less money means less healthy eating. Processed food high on fat and sugar tend to be cheaper than healthier organic food. Nourishing food is not an option to those who have to budget their food stamps for a whole month.

A major reason the SNAP program is being targeted instead military spending is because of economic and political interests. 

The military and other government bureaucracies have a large number of independent contracts with their respective industry. 

Powerful industry have a vested interest in making sure the budget for the military doesn’t go down. Therefore, they employ various tactics including donations and lobbying to persuade politicians to avoid cutting funding to these programs. This relationship is sometimes referred to as the Military Industrial Complex. 

Programs such as food stamps largely benefit those who are poor and have the least influence on government, making these programs easier to defund.

More publicly, Republican politicians target food stamps because it is seen as one of the welfare programs their party and their base of supporters are against. 

People often believe that poverty is the sole responsibility of the individual and that the tax payer should not be made to support the failings of others.

However, reality is much more complicated. Unemployment has risen over the last decade correlating with the explosion of people who now receive food stamps. 

Wages have also gone down as middle wage jobs are being replaced by working wage jobs. Parents who could at one time afford to feed their family are now either jobless or are working one or more jobs without being able to make ends meet.

We as Americans must be compassionate. We have to make sure children are fed.