Can Food Banks Make Up for the Millions Lost in SNAP Benefit Cuts?
Written by Dan Michel, Digital Marketing Manager of Feeding America
Think about every person on the SNAP program. That is a lot of people. That’s over 47 million people in America.
Well, today, November 1, those millions of people will feel a cut to their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP benefits.
The average cut will be $36 to a family of four each month. For these people, $36 could really make a difference in their well-being. We went to a grocery store to see how much we could get for $36. Turns out, we could really add value – nutritional value. See an array of produce, protein, milk and pasta that we were able to purchase below. This could mean the difference for somebody not having to go to work on an empty stomach or a child trying to learn in school when their stomach is growling.
While these cuts were unavoidable, the bad news does not end here. Congress has just appointed a committee to examine the Farm Bill which provides oversight to the SNAP program. One proposal would cut an additional $40 billion from SNAP.
Feeding America distributes 3.2 billion meals a year, but we can’t do this alone. With the November 1 cuts and the proposed cuts, Feeding America’s nationwide network of food banks would have to more than double their distribution to make up the difference.
How can we sit back and let Congress dictate who thrives in our society? We must protect our struggling friends and neighbors. SNAP is not just a government program. It is about people. People who need our help. And we have to do it together.
Together We Can Solve Hunger. Together we can all be Feeding America.
*Analysis by Feeding America
1.The $40 billion SNAP cut in the House nutrition-only farm bill divided evenly over 10 years would equal $4 billion in lost SNAP benefits in FY14. Lost meals calculated using average cost of a meal ($2.67) from Feeding America’s annual Map the Meal Gap report.
2. The value of SNAP benefits lost due to the ARRA cut is $5 billion in FY14. Lost meals calculated using average cost of a meal ($2.67) from Feeding America’s annual Map the Meal Gap report. 3. Feeding America’s internal meal projections for Feeding America Fiscal Year 2014 (July 1, 2013 – June 30, 2014).
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons