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Ohio's Hunger Charities Crying Foul over SNAP “Raid”

August 23, 2010

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The raid on SNAP must stop - that's the message from advocates for the poor who say lawmakers should restore cuts to food stamp benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. A bill recently passed by Congress and signed by the President will fund education jobs and Medicaid by cutting $11.9 billion in food stamp benefits.

The executive director of the Ohio Association of Second Harvest Foodbanks, Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, says the legislation will take food off the plates of poor people at a time when hunger rates among children are skyrocketing.

"Robbing Peter to pay Paul is unacceptable and it's unconscionable that the poorest in our nation would be asked to make the greatest sacrifice to fund these other important legislative priorities."

Hamler-Fugitt says the legislation on education and Medicaid will cost Ohio's hungry families and communities over $680 million in benefits and economic activity in the first year. And she adds that the best economic stimulus is through helping those who need it the most.

"Economists and lawmakers all agree, the quickest way to help grow the economy is through food stamps. In fact, for every $5 in food stamps that are redeemed, it generates $9.20 in local economic growth."

Currently, one in seven Ohioans depends on food stamps.

There is a significant number of members of Congress who are now pledging to restore the cuts. Hamler-Fugitt says her organization and its 3,000 member charities will work to hold them to that promise. The Senate also targeted SNAP funds in its re-authorization of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, but no such cuts are included in the House version.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH