November 1st Cut to SNAP Bad for Families
On November 1, 2013, all SNAP recipients will lose a significant portion of their nutrition supports. This marks the day that the boost to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or Food Stamps) created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 ends. Forty-seven million Americans rely on SNAP to feed their families – and every single person on SNAP will lose benefits.
“With the money food stamps provide, I was able to feed her breakfast that morning. Without it what would she have eaten? I wanted to show that with the help she was able to eat breakfast that morning. She had cereal. She had milk. She didn’t have to go without.” – Crystal
When the recession hit, as unemployment peaked and poverty and hunger increased, the stimulus bill included an increase to the SNAP allotment. This increase allowed families who were struggling to be able to put much-needed food on their table. It was also an economic boost to the economy – every SNAP dollar leads to $1.73 in economic activity.
The increase in benefits, as written into ARRA, were scheduled to last until 2016, but that timeline was shortened to November 1, 2013 to pay for teachers’ salaries, Medicaid, and child nutrition programs under 2010’s Child Nutrition Reauthorization. Cutting funding for a program that helps low-income families in order to pay for other programs that help low-income families compromises our children’s health, development and capacity to learn.
What the Cut Means
While the recession may have ended for some, people living in poverty have not experienced the recovery. With 45 million people living in food insecure households, including 17 million children, now is the time to support a program that helps families to eat a nutritious diet and to stay healthy.
The reduction will depends upon the size of a household:
- 1 person household - $11 per month reduction
- 2 person household - $20 per month reduction
- 3 person household - $29 per month reduction
- 4 person household - $36 per month reduction
Our study Children’s HealthWatch, a leading pediatric research organization, found that even the maximum SNAP benefit was inadequate to provide a minimally healthy diet throughout the month. Fewer dollars for food will mean fewer and less nutritious meals for our families and our children. Child hunger continues to be at an all-time high and nearly half of all of SNAP participants are children. It is critical that Congress ensure there is enough funding available to continue to meet the ongoing need, yet more cuts may be coming for SNAP as Congress continues their work on the Farm Bill. We must remind Congress that cuts to SNAP means cuts to meals for kids.