The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Taking Food from Babies and Elders

Mar 6, 2023

Nearly 30 million people, primarily low income families, had their supplemental food benefits cut as of March 1. For almost three years, people eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) received additional food stamp benefits to “cushion the economic blow” of the coronavirus.

The emergency program was enacted by Congress at the start of the pandemic in 2020. Under this program, each recipient got a monthly average of $251. According to the Agriculture Department which administers the food stamp program, that monthly average has now declined to about a third, or $82. Older Americans who had qualified for minimum benefits will have their benefit cut from $281 to $23! This loss of food benefits comes at the same time as grocery prices have skyrocketed, as have rents and utilities. NO ONE was getting rich off of that extra $251 a month!

This program was supposed to stay in place as long as the COVID-19 public health emergency was in place. While this public health emergency is set to expire on May 1, these extra food benefits are ending now, as of March 1, two months earlier, because of a deal Congress struck in December to turn the SNAP program into block grants to the states in order to reduce the cost and size of the program.

What was that cost? Apparently it was about 3 billion dollars a month that was going for food—that is, 36 billion dollars a year. A mere pittance, in fact, when it comes to the amount of money this government is willing to spend on weapons and war—about 1.4 trillion dollars a year!

A government that is ready to sign a blank check for weapons and war, but not feed the population.