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Philabundance Strongly Opposes Proposed House Cuts to SNAP Program

Statement Attributable to Bill Clark, president and executive director of Philabundance:

“Philabundance is outraged by yesterday’s vote by the House of Representatives to slash hunger relief spending by nearly $36 billion. Local food banks and hunger relief organizations are already stretched to the breaking point trying to keep up with increased need. Cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps, would be devastating to our community, and result in more people visiting food cupboards, when the current need is already hard to meet.

“Taking care of our neighbors is an American value, and feeding our neighbors is a shared responsibility. Every day Philabundance sees this partnership reflected in the generous support of our volunteers and donors, and we are grateful that this value is reflected in Washington through important anti-hunger programs like SNAP. Cutting SNAP is an abdication of that responsibility, and to do so at a time when the need for food assistance has never been greater is both reckless and short-sighted.

“Our food bank serves households who have too much in income or assets to qualify for SNAP but who still struggle to feed their families. We also serve many SNAP participants whose benefits are inadequate to get them through the month. Benefits average less than $1.50 per person per meal, leaving many participating families to turn to local charities to make ends meet.

“SNAP is targeted at our most vulnerable: 76 percent of SNAP households include a child, elderly person, or disabled person, and 85 percent have gross income at or below 100 percent of the poverty line. Deficit reduction is an important national priority, but it must not be undertaken without regard to our national values and it must not come at the expense of our most vulnerable.”

Submit your comments on SNAP and the Farm Bill to the House Agriculture Committee by May 20th: http://agriculture.house.gov/farmbill_feedback.html

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