Washington, D.C. – April 18, 2012 -- The House Agriculture Committee voted today to cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by more than $33 billion – a cut that spares no household from seeing its benefits reduced and that would result in millions of low-income people being forced out of the program.
Low-income people will have less money for food.
• Ending the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s boost to SNAP benefits this summer will mean reduced benefits for recipients – the maximum benefit for a household of four would fall by $57 per month through the remainder of 2012.
• The proposal to limit the state option known as “Heat and Eat” will reduce SNAP benefits for households eligible for but receiving the smallest, least adequate LIHEAP benefits. This cut would impact 4.7 million SNAP recipients.
SNAP recipients will be pushed out of the program.
• By limiting states’ ability to administer the categorical eligibility option, an estimated three million SNAP recipients would lose eligibility. This cut also will take free school breakfast and lunch away from more than 280,000 low-income children, and will vastly increase state administrative costs and red tape.
“SNAP works, and today’s vote to slash funding for this program is misguided, harmful, and shows complete indifference to the basic needs of 46 million Americans. When jobs disappeared and wages shrank, SNAP was there to help struggling Americans put food on the table. Today’s vote places the burden of deficit reduction on the most vulnerable among us, and means less food in the refrigerator for already hungry families,” said FRAC President Jim Weill. “Attempts to dismiss such cuts as ‘accounting’ fixes ignore the real impact such proposals have on people and their ability to purchase food.”
FRAC recently released an analysis of food hardship in the mostly rural districts of members of the House Agriculture Committee, and found that food hardship is as prevalent in these districts as it is in the rest of the nation.
“Hunger is prevalent in every community in America, but SNAP has played an essential role in helping to alleviate that hunger,” said Weill. “Americans also reject such cuts and recognize the importance of SNAP. Seventy-seven percent of voters said that cutting SNAP would be the wrong way to reduce government spending. Congress must oppose attempts to shred our safety net, and instead tackle hunger with the zeal that the situation – and that the public – demand.”