The federal food stamp program known as the “Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program” (SNAP) has now been cut by a small amount — just $36 / month for a family of four. But even this tiny reduction in a national entitlement program is causing shockwaves across the nation as food banks scramble to handle the anticipated surge in “hungry masses.”
“Food banks across the country, stretched thin in the aftermath of the recession, are bracing for more people coming through their doors in the wake of cuts to the federal food stamp program,” writes USA Today.
There are almost 50 million Americans on food stamps right now. A family of four used to receive roughly $600 / month from the government, but that amount has now been cut by around six percent. The fact that this $36 reduction is causing so much panic underscores just how deeply millions of Americans have come to depend on government money to simply survive.
Cuts deemed “catastrophic” for many people
These cuts, “will be close to catastrophic for many people,” said Ross Fraser, a spokesman for Feeding America, as quoted in a story by CBS News.
“It’s going to send people into a charitable system that’s already overwhelmed and screaming for help itself,” says Jim Weill of the Food Research and Action Center, also quoted in that same CBS story.
CBS somehow blames the massive increase in food stamps on the “housing crash” of 2006 – 2007, utterly failing to mention that widespread joblessness is being caused by Obama’s economic policies and the disastrous Obamacare program itself. Instead, CBS says:
…Participation in SNAP has soared during the epic downturn and ongoing job slump that followed the housing crash, with an additional 21 million people added to the rolls since 2008.
Already talk of “food riots”
“If you look across the world, riots always begin typically the same way: when people cannot afford to eat food,” said Margarette Purvis, the president and CEO of the Food Bank for New York City, as quoted in a Salon.com article.
“Our members are panicking,” Purvis told NBC News, adding that “We’re telling everyone to make sure that you are prepared for longer lines.”
The question on everybody’s minds, of course, is: What happens when the available food runs out and millions go hungry? While that scenario may not unfold this year, the fact that more and more people are losing their jobs and needing food stamps to survive inevitably puts an increased burden on food banks, too.
Don’t confuse SNAP food stamp program with “nutrition”
Just for the record, by the way, the federal food stamp program is full of fraud and abuse. People sell EBT cards for cash on Craigslist, for example, and many retail stores have been busted trading cash for card charges, allowing food stamp recipients to acquire cash they use to buy crack, meth or other drugs.
Even when used for food, the SNAP program is often used to buy toxic, highly-processed junk food products. EBT cards can be used to buy cookies, sodas, toxic hot dogs and processed meats, foods contaminated with pesticides and heavy metals, and other toxic products that drive up long-term health care costs.
Personally, I support having a basic food safety net in place for needy families but only if credits can be used to buy truly nutritious foods, not processed junk foods that enrich wealthy food corporations.
Why should taxpayers foot the bill, after all, for toxic products that make families and children sick? This is especially true when you consider that taxpayers have to pay a second time for the health care costs associated with such poor food habits. For every dollar spent on junk foods today, somebody’s going to have to pony up another $5 – $10 later on to cover the health care costs associated with that food. (Have you priced cancer treatments lately?)
The best food stamp program would be to end Obamacare and restore jobs across America
At the risk of offending socialist entitlement-state worshippers who remain astonishingly ignorant about economics, allow me to point out the obvious here: The only reason so many people are on food stamps is because their jobs are being systematically destroyed by disastrous government economic policies and the Obamacare program in particular.
Thanks to Obamacare, employers everywhere are slashing hours, cutting jobs and giving people pink slips in record numbers. The Obamacare mandate simply makes it too expensive to keep as many employees on the payroll, so they’re getting dropped.
Most people on food stamps would rather have a job that pays enough to buy their own food! But in this economic downfall that has accelerated since Obama’s election in 2008, there are fewer and fewer opportunities even for people who want to work.
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