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Food Stamps Spared....For Now

PHOTO: Anti-hunger groups are relieved U.S. House defeated Farm Bill that included more than $20 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Photo credit: FRAC
PHOTO: Anti-hunger groups are relieved U.S. House defeated Farm Bill that included more than $20 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Photo credit: FRAC
June 21, 2013

BALTIMORE – A fight over food stamps brought down the Farm Bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, and anti-hunger groups are relieved.

The legislation would have stripped more than $20 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, which provides help to about 770,000 individuals in Maryland alone.

Cathy Demeroto, director of Maryland Hunger Solutions, says many local families would have felt the impact.

"One in six families in Maryland struggles to put food on the table,” she says. “And so it would have been unconscionable to make that situation worse for Marylanders who are really struggling to make ends meet."

Demeroto says other provisions in the bill, such as allowing states to conduct random drug testing for the program applicants, would have punished and stigmatized low-income Americans. But she notes the long-term fate of SNAP funding is still uncertain.

"We know that the SNAP program will remain as is at least through September 30th,” she says, “and that's good news in the short term."

The SNAP program was formerly referred to as Food Stamps.


Alison Burns, Public News Service - MD