Sunday, May 28, 2017

Snapping food stamps

 Trump plans to cut food stamps. Trump’s budget director Mick Mulvaney said: “If you’re on food stamps and you’re able-bodied, we need you to go to work.”

42 million Americans received assistance via the Snap program, as food stamps are officially known, which cost $70.9bn in 2016. Most recipients, about 72%, live in households with children, and more than a quarter live in households with seniors or people with disabilities.

“In recent memory, in the late 1960s and early 70s, we had a problem of severe malnutrition in this country. Not everywhere, but in poor communities around the country we had problems with severe hunger,” said Stacy Dean, the vice-president for food assistance policy at the nonpartisan thinktank the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Snap “largely solved that problem”. Sshe found the budget cut proposal worrying. Abdicating responsibility for ending hunger as a national issue is “a proposal to take us back to a dark time in our history”, she said.

The District of Columbia in comparison with US states has one of the highest proportions of the population to be on food stamps. For instance, 21.97% of residents were on them in 2014, a report from the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) nutrition service reported in 2015.

Ralik Turner, a community developer and social worker, offered a different perspective on the proposal. “It will just be the direction the country has been going for years. Bill Clinton started the cuts and I like Clinton. Like any underground network, people are going to find a way because they have no choice. Food stamps is a subsidy. It’s not making the bread of any household in this country. In no way does it take the credit for the situation of freedom in the black community. Most of the elderly get $6 to $14 a month on food stamps; no one can live on them; it means nothing. This lie proposed that food stamps is an industry making poor people rich is bullshit.”

No comments: