A new U.S. Department of Agriculture report shows that the number of Americans now reliant on the government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to stave off hunger has skyrocketed to 45.8 million in May of this year. That’s up a whopping 34% from May 2009.
Advocates for low-income families worry how those 1 in 5 Americans enrolled in SNAP programs will fare if the impending trillion plus dollar federal budget cuts impact SNAP. With 20% of U.S. households receiving food assistance, any administration cuts to farm programs such as SNAP could spell disaster for child and family nutrition, since may households are existing on just $1 per meal per person each day, even with the SNAP program. Also alarming are the congressional and presidential candidates who propose cutting government involvement in food security programs at this time of record hunger and need.
From ABC News:
The Republicans’ 2012 budget plan proposes changing SNAP from an entitlement to a block-grant program that would be tailored for each individual state, much like their proposal for Medicaid. States would no longer receive open-ended subsidies and the aid would be contingent on work or job training. It would also limit funding for the program. The president’s 2012 budget, however, goes in a completely opposite direction. It aims to make requirements less stringent by temporarily suspending for one year the time limit for certain age groups without dependents. The president also suggested restoring benefit cuts that were included in the Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill last year.
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