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Advocates, Officials, and SNAP Recipients Join Together
ADVOCATES, OFFICIALS, AND SNAP RECIPIENTS JOIN TOGETHER AT NYC FOOD PANTRY TO DECRY 11/1 GROCERY REDUCTIONS
48 MILLION AMERICANS TO HAVE LESS FOOD TO EAT – CHARITIES ALREADY CANNOT MEET CURRENT FOOD DEMAND
“SCARIEST HALLOWEEN EVER FOR HUNGRY AMERICANS”
A day before massive SNAP cuts are set to go into effect for all48 million Americans (including 1.8 million New York City residents) who currently receive SNAP (food stamps), advocates, elected officials, SNAP recipients and community leaders joined together in protest of these cuts.
Starting tomorrow, November 1st, all SNAP recipients will have less food to eat when the federal “hunger clock” kicks in. In New York State alone, the 3.1 million SNAP recipients (of whom 1.2 million are children and 1.1 million are elderly or people with disabilities) will lose a total of $332 million in food, according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. Each family of three will lose about $319 in groceries in the next year – or about $29 per month. These cuts were enacted by the President and Congress in 2010, but are just kicking in now.
The up to $39 billion in SNAP cuts now being debated by Congress would be in addition to the November 1st reductions.
As the below chart demonstrates, SNAP cuts dwarf food charity in the U.S. Organizations such as The Father’s Heart Ministries already cannot meet current demand for food distribution, and these cuts will only make the situation worse.
“This is the scariest Halloween ever for the 49 million working parents, children, seniors, veterans, and other low-income Americans who depend upon SNAP for groceries to survive. I wish this was just a horror movie, but this is grim reality, “said Joel Berg, Executive Director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger. “The federal cuts dwarf all of the nation’s charitable food distribution. Food pantries such as Father’s Heart are already unable to keep up with the growing demand, so this massive food cut will surely result in increasing hunger and mass suffering. If we can’t reverse this cut immediately, the least Congress can do is not pile on additional cuts, which would not only further increase hunger, but slam our economy.”
"The $5 billion in SNAP cuts that will take effect tomorrow, Nov. 1 will have a devastating impact on millions of hardworking Americans and New Yorkers. Congress needs to restore support for SNAP and come together to pass legislation that prevents additional cuts to this vital program," said Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (NY-12).
New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio said, "No New Yorker should go to bed hungry because of an extreme ideological agenda in Washington. Our families are suffering. The recession and Superstorm Sandy have taken a terrible toll--and now Republican obstructionists are adding heaping more pain on hardworking people. I stand with the New York Coalition Against Hunger, faith-based charities and families in need to say enough is enough. We have to oppose these cuts with every tool at our disposal."
“Nutrition programs like SNAP are a critical lifeline for millions of New Yorkers, and what we need to do is increase the food stamp benefit, not cut it further,” said Rep. Joe Crowley(D-Queens, the Bronx). “As it is, many families turn to the great work of local organizations like the New York City Coalition Against Hunger and the resources of community food banks to further meet their family’s nutritional needs, but even they are being stretched thin. We need a strong federal program that makes sure no child, and no family, has to go to bed hungry.”
“I’m outraged at the apathy some in Congress are showing regarding the upcoming SNAP benefit reductions,” said Congressman José E. Serrano. “With record numbers of people in need of nutrition assistance, we cannot cut benefits. People are struggling and this cut will only increase hunger and suffering.”
"These cuts to SNAP, unfair, outrageous, and could not come at a worse time," said State Senator Liz Krueger, the founding Executive Director of the Food Bank for New York City and a longtime anti-hunger advocate. "If the federal government shutdown proved anything, it proved that the broad, mainstream majority of Americans has run out of patience for the Tea Party's callous, slash-and-burn approach to government. It's time for Congressional Republicans to stop sabotaging SNAP, the federal government's single most successful direct benefit program, which helps Americans who have fallen on hard times at the same time as it pumps money into Main Street businesses and generates an outstanding economic return."
“These drastic cuts to critical food aid programs are unacceptable, and will hurt millions of low-income families who depend on them to feed their families,” said Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer. “I urge Congress to not only put a stop to these cuts, but to pass a Farm Bill that won’t gut these critical programs in the future. More than one in five New Yorkers depend on programs like SNAP, and I thank the New York City Coalition Against Hunger for stepping up to help families in need.”
“Since 2009, the number of New Yorkers on food stamps has risen 40 percent. And today, just under 1.9 million New Yorkers currently receiving SNAP benefits could see their food stamps cut. It is imperative that Congress not exacerbate the effects of the November 1st reduction by pushing through roughly $40 billion in additional cuts that would hurt needy families” said Council Member Letitia James.