During Time of Growing Food Insecurity, Congress Considers Cuts to Food Assistance Programs

From the Food Research and Action Center (http://www.frac.org):

(Science Blogs, The Pump Handle, July 13, 2012)

While the need for food assistance is rising, notes this blog post, Congress is considering cuts to SNAP.  From April 2011 to April 2012, SNAP participation increased by more than 1.5 million people. Diana Cutts, assistant chief of pediatrics at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, said that she has seen hunger and the stress on families increase during the recession.  “One of the hard things for physicians to wrap their heads around is that there aren’t any obvious physical signs of food insecurity…this is an invisible condition and yet it’s very prevalent,” said Cutts.  In Texas, for example, one in four children live in a home that struggles with food security and 3.5 million Texans receive SNAP assistance.  “We recognize the need to reduce the deficit, but SNAP is not causing the deficit and cutting it won’t solve the deficit,” said Celia Cole, CEO of the Texas Food Bank Network.  “We’re talking about taking food off the table of working families.”  In order to learn what it is like to struggle with having enough food, Lura Barber, senior policy analyst with the National Council on Aging, took the Food Stamp Challenge, spending only $5 per day on food for one week.  “It was hard…I felt very hungry the first day…if I had a hard, physical labor job, I would have really felt it.”

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