When SNAP benefits are cut the impact is felt from the bottom up. In addition to hurting those most in need of assistance, cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program are also felt by many small business owners like us. Each week we sell our produce, like many other farmers across the country, directly to consumers via a local farmers market. When SNAP benefits are reduced, you decrease the ability for recipients to purchase fresh produce from farmers that accept food stamp payments – you’ve now made it more difficult for SNAP recipients to consume the good calories every person needs and you’ve also hit your local farmers by further limiting spending at the market.
While the GOP continues to focus on the very small portion of SNAP recipients abusing the system, the rest of us – including the majority of recipients that need this benefit to survive – continue to suffer due to the systemic indifference within the party. Cutting benefits to the most vulnerable is unacceptable – hunger is not a political albatross it is a real world problem that requires a basic level of empathy, and currently many in the Republican party are lacking this most basic of human emotions.
• 76% of SNAP households included a child, an elderly person, or a disabled person. These vulnerable households receive 83% of all SNAP benefits
• SNAP households have gross income at or below 75% of the poverty guideline ($14,648 for a family of 3 in 2013)
• SNAP has an accuracy rate of 96.2%…and is considerably higher than other major benefit programs…
These are just some of the facts that support the idea that we cannot simply turn our back on people that need help. This program is not the reckless sieve GOP members continue to discredit while simultaneously allowing massive crop subsidies to continue with each Farm Bill passage.
We urge you to contact your House Representative and demand that full SNAP funding be included with the passage of any new Farm Bill – there are simply too many people that stand to lose from a decrease in benefits