Monday, November 20, 2017

Cuts to Food Stamps

“SNAP has helped me out several times in my life. In college, it's how I ate. Now, I use it to help me buy food since I live paycheck to paycheck.” -SNAP recipient, Hub patron

In March, President Trump proposed $193 billions dollars in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps. These massive cuts would be a drastic blow to one of the most effective hunger and poverty prevention programs in the United States. A program that has:
  • Lifted millions of households out of poverty: SNAP kept 10.3 million people out of poverty in 2012, including 4.9 million children.
  • Helped families put nutritious food on the table.
  • Promoted long-term health and well-being, especially for children.
  • Provided a valuable safety-net, both during economic downturn and natural disasters.
In Indiana:
  • It kept 224,000 Hoosiers out of poverty, including 111,000 children, per year between 2009 and 2012

How will these cuts affect Hoosiers in Monroe County?

In Monroe County, over 25,000 community members experience food insecurity - the second highest rate of food insecurity in the state of Indiana. Of those families and individuals, nearly 8,000 receive SNAP benefits, and it serves as a valuable resource for putting food on the table.

If these funding cuts go into effect, thousands of Hoosiers will no longer be able to afford a healthy diet. Nearly 75% of SNAP benefits go to households with children or have someone with a disability. While we would hope these would be the last groups to be affected by any changes, there is no guarantee when such a large sum of money is involved. If federal funds are cut, we will be unable to count on the state of Indiana to fill the gap with a tight state budget.

If SNAP benefits got cut...“[i]t would make it harder to pay the bills on time. Either a bill wouldn't be paid or I would sacrifice food for bills. I make less than what I owe. I am very fortunate to have found resources for food from my friends, from growing my own food, and from organizations like the Hub, but many people in a worse situation really struggle. They will get very low quality food if enough food at all.”


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