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

Hidden, New Food Stamp Cuts

Sep 16, 2013

Democrats and Republicans are staging a new “fight” in Washington, D.C. over “little” vs. “big” food stamps cuts. While this drama begins front stage, the New York Times recently let the back stage truth slip out:

No matter what Congress decides, [food stamp] benefits will be reduced in November, when a provision in the 2009 stimulus bill expires.”

New cuts in November will hit everyone in the U.S. receiving food stamps, or SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits–48 million people.

Benefits average $1.40 a meal; 75 per cent of households receiving food help are caring for the disabled, a child or are age 60 or older.

The program, effectively, pays for enough food for two weeks out of the month. November’s cuts will equal two days less food a month. Even before the new cuts, one recipient said: “I don’t buy milk because it’s so expensive. I don’t buy cheese.” Said another: “You hate to tell your child, ‘You can’t eat this, you have to save it for another day.’” But she asked her child to cut his portion of pasta casserole with meat in half and she, the mother, did not eat any.

Food banks and charities will NOT be able to absorb this cut. The food stamp program is too big. According to Margaret Purvis, director of the Food Bank for New York City, the largest food bank in the country, “The single, across-the-board cut to SNAP benefits scheduled for this November will take away more food in our city than we distribute in a year.”

No one is warning the poor that this is coming. The next time we hear one of those broadcast messages: “This is a test of the emergency broadcast system,” THIS should be the warning: There is a food emergency coming in November–when one out of every seven people who now depend on food stamps will face a food disaster, brought to you by the inaction of both mainstream political parties!