SNAP Cuts Will Increase Hunger in Maryland
BALTIMORE – The U.S. House of Representatives voted Thursday to strip $40 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps.
And anti-hunger groups say if the legislation becomes law, nearly 4 million people will be booted off food assistance next year – including thousands of children in Maryland, who would face hunger and health problems as a result.
Molly McCloskey, director of Share Our Strength's Maryland No Kid Hungry Campaign, said the impact of the cuts to the program over the next decade would be devastating.
"This will have a dramatic impact on those least able to fight for their own benefits,” she said. “In Maryland alone, 42 percent of those citizens who receive SNAP are kids."
President Barack Obama has vowed to veto the House food stamp legislation, but the future of food assistance in the United States remains in limbo for now.
McCloskey said critics of the program are wrong when they say it does more harm than good to help people in need to purchase food. She said most households that receive SNAP benefits include someone who is elderly, disabled, or a child.
"This has impacts for education, for health, for workforce development,” she stressed. “This cut will overwhelm the social service and charitable organizations who currently make up the gap."
House Republicans insist the bulk of their legislation would cut benefits only for what they call able-bodied adults who aren't caring for children.