House Republicans: Ignorance vs. Reality on Hunger in America
Fighting for Full Plates
Millions of Americans—particularly children, seniors, and veterans—struggle with hunger every day, and rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps, just to have enough to eat. One in five children go to bed hungry every night and nearly 22 million children receive SNAP benefits. Thursday, House Republicans heartlessly voted to gut SNAP by $40 billion over the next decade, slashing the legs on which many families stand.
This partisan bill—which every Democrat voted against—would take away the next meal for nearly four million seniors, 170,000 veterans, and 5,000 active-duty military families. It is unconscionable that this bill passed, as it undermines who are as a nation and that we do not even want to meet the needs of the people. As former President Ronald Reagan said—“As long as there is one person in this country who is hungry, that is one person too many.”
The vicious cuts to SNAP affect us here as well, where people from all walks of life rely on the SNAP and nutrition programs to make it through tough and trying times. Take the stories of Caitlin and Brian. Caitlin, now in her 20s, worked hard at a part-time job to put herself through college. As the recession took its toll on students across the country looking for work, Caitlin enrolled in SNAP after she could not afford to pay rent and buy food each month. With the help of SNAP, she was able to get by, get a promotion and now works full-time. Brian is 50 years old and homeless, yet even as he searches for full-time employment, he spends his spare time volunteering at St. Anthony’s Dining Room, helping other people find food, to find shelter, clothes, and compassion in our community. There he gives what little he has back to our community. Like Brian and Caitlin, millions of people across America are working hard and giving all that they have to lift themselves up and help others get back on their feet.
I was moved recently during mass when the priest said ‘You just cannot come to church and pray on Sunday and go out and prey on people for the rest of the week.’ This legislation is preying on people, on children, on veterans, on seniors, on all those who are struggling to do their best in our country. -Rep. Pelosi
Hopefully, Democrats in the Senate will prevent this cut from becoming law. Republicans have already reduced food stamps in the Farm Bill and Sequester.