The Farm Bill that passed the Senate at the end of June preserves the strong structure of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps). The Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano commends the Senate for rejecting amendments that would have crippled the program and left millions of people who rely on the program for basic food poorer, hungrier, and unhealthier. The attacks by some lawmakers on the strongest part of the safety net for millions of low-income seniors, working parents and other adults, unemployed families with children, people with disabilities, members of the Armed Services and veterans, and others were outrageous.
Thank you Senators Boxer and Feinstein for voting against the harmful amendments and being two of just 33 senators who stood up to protect SNAP by voting in support of the Gillibrand amendment. Our only wish is that more Senators had done the same as the bill that was passed does contain a $4.5 billion cut to SNAP that will harm large numbers of struggling families. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), an estimated 500,000 households a year will lose $90 per month in SNAP benefits.
These are real cuts with real consequences – they mean lost meals for Americans who are already hungry. As the House takes up the Farm Bill next week, we urge our elected officials to produce a final bill with no cuts to SNAP and that preserves the strong structure of the program. No community is free from hunger, and it is time for Congress to tackle this challenge with the urgency the situation demands.