Kitchen Think: Fed Up With Congress Ignoring Hungry Children

Could you feed your children on one dollar per child per meal?

With five kids and a husband, I know it would be a struggle in my household.  

But millions of American parents may have to send their children to bed with an empty stomach. Hard to believe, especially in this country, but it’s true.

Here’s what I'm talking about:
• Last week both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees passed separate versions of the Farm Bill.
• Those proposals would cut more than $20 billion dollars from SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program), the program that feeds millions of hungry people in this country and used to be known as food stamps.
• One in five Americans receive food stamps, most of them working-poor families with children.
• The full Senate will debate the bill next week.

The number of children who go hungry has grown dramatically over the past several years because there are more people facing poverty and unemployment due to the recession and an economy slow to recover.

Food stamps have always been a contentious issue because of the misperception that many recipients are just taking advantage of the system.

But here’s what’s interesting: SNAP does what it is supposed to do… feed the hungry. Cutting these benefits won't do much to help the nation’s long-term financial issues. It will only keep hungry children from being fed. And that’s tragic.

Here’s a great idea: Before the vote, every member of Congress should take the “Food Stamp Challenge”. For one month, each of them must eat on a budget of about one dollar per person per meal. THEN let’s see how many of them want to cut SNAP benefits.


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