Cuts Upon Cuts
Last Friday, nutritional assistance (formerly called Food Stamps) was cut for families across the country. More than half a million children in Arizona will be harmed – their families facing a tougher struggle to keep food on the table all month long. Congress had boosted benefits temporarily in 2009 to help families survive the recession. The higher benefits also helped stimulate local economies and the recovery. Unfortunately, those benefits totaling $109 million are now gone for Arizona while the challenge finding jobs that pay a living wage remains.
For a mother raising two children, this cut means $29 less a month to spend on food. That’s equivalent to about 16 meals a month for this family of three, based on the cost of the U.S. Agriculture Department’s “Thrifty Food Plan.” 1 Where will mothers turn to pay for those 16 meals? What will happen to their children? These are questions our Congressional delegation should be asking and answering with policies that reduce child hunger.
Unfortunately, some House and Senate members are doing just the opposite – considering cutting nutrition assistance from more families as they negotiate to reauthorize the program, called SNAP for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
Arizona Congressmen Salmon, Schweikert, Franks, and Gosar voted in favor of a version of the Farm Bill in September that would kick more Arizona families off nutrition benefits if they own a car worth more than $2,000, or they earn a little bit higher income and spend a large portion of that on child care.
The Senate version of the Farm Bill also makes cuts to SNAP, but the cuts are much less drastic.
Arizona children and families need a Farm Bill from Congress that strenghtens the Arizona economy and gives families enough food on the table every night.
1 Click here for more information on the latest round of cuts November 1 SNAP Cuts Will Affect Millions of Children, Seniors, and People With Disabilities, State-by-State Figures Highlight the Impacts Across the Country. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities