16 million American children went to bed hungry in 2012. How could that be in a country where food is plentiful? Part of the problem is this — in recent federal budget battles, funds for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or what are commonly known as food stamps, are always at the top of the list for things that some lawmakers (mostly Republicans) think are unnecessary spending.
The current proposal in the House of Representatives is to cut $4 billion (that’s billion with a “b”) from the SNAP program, and to allow states to impose a variety of work requirements on recipients, claiming there are too many people receiving food assistance and there is too much fraud in the program. Sound logical? It might, until you focus on the facts that one in seven Americans receive some amount of SNAP assistance, meaning that many Americans who get food stamps are already have jobs, but earn so little that they qualify for this aid. And the majority of recipients are in households with minor children, elderly family members or who have disabled family members. Not to mention the fact that there are many people who are eligible for food stamps, but never apply for it.
The following graphic shows clearly why the idea of cutting off food aid for needy Americans isn’t a smart one:
What do you think? Is SNAP assistance a good investment in our children and our country?